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July-December 1926. 











In matters Political, Social and 

Economic, Etc. 

Volume II 1 July-Deer. 1 926. f Numbers III & IV 

Editor : Nripendra Na 











July-December 1926 




July 1926 I 

August 1926 2 

September 1926 ... ... 4 

October 1926 ... 7 

November 1926 6 

December 1926 .* 5 



The Constitution of the Congress ... 9 

The Congress Election Manifesto ... ... 17 

Introductory ... ... 17 

Congress Adopts Swaraj Party Programme ... .. 17 

Natural Evolution of a Living Programme ... ... 19 

Policy of Self-Reliance ... 20 

Hindu Muslim Unity ... 21 

The Walk-out Wh&t it Really Signified ... ... 22 

Congress and Anti-Congress Parties ... 22 

Report of the Congress Work in 1926 ... ... 24 

The Walk-out ... ... 25 

Hindu Muslim Relations ... 25 

Selection of Candidates ... ... 26 

Report of the All-India Spinner's Association ... 28 


A Resume of Main Events 30 

The Bengal Responsivist Party 34 

Ft Malaviya'g Calcutta Address 
The Eesponsivist Party's Manifesto 
The Party Conference at Calcutta 
CoDgress Politics in Central Provinces 

A Eeview of the Situation 
The Bengal Congress Committee Affairs 

The Kami Sangha's Manifesto 

Compromise with the Karmi Sangha 
Ban on Pt. Malaviya and Dr, Moonjee 

The Prohibition Order 

Pt. Malaviya Disobeys Order 

The Pandit's Address at Albert Hall 

Dr. Moonji's Arrival at Calcutta 

M. Gandhi's Comment on Prohibition Order 
I*** Lajpat Rai's Resignation from Swaraj Party 

The Lala's Resignation Letter 

His Letter on Joining the Swaraj Party 

Pt. Nehru's Reply to Lala Lajpat Rai 

Lala Lajpat Rai's Rejoinder 

Pt. Nehru's Second Letter 
The Independent Congress Party 

The Inauguration Meeting 


The Party's Manifesto 
The Nehru Malaviya Negotiations 

The Cause of the Break-down 

Terms of Pt. Malaviya's Offer 

Pt. Nehru's Statement 

Pt. Nehru's Proposals 

Text of Pandit Nehru s Telegram 

Pt. Malaviya's Statement 
The Punjab Leaders 1 Manifesto 
The Akali Leaders 1 Case 
Result of the General Election 


The Hindu Moslem Riots 
The Rawalpindi Riot 
The Pabna Riot 
The Allahabad Riot 
The Dacca Riot 
The Delhi Riot 
The Calcutta Riots 

Govt. Comm. on "No Music Before Mosque 
The Calcutta Hindus' Protest Meeting 
The Bombay Meeting 
The Bengal Muslim League's Views 
The Indian National Union 
The Nehru-Azad Manifesto 
The Preliminary Meeting at Delhi 
Its Reception by the People 




































~ 75 

... 75 
. 78 
... 79 
... 81 
... 82 
... 82 
... 83 
. 84 
... 85 
... 87 






The Bengal Muslim Party 

Sir Abdur Rahim's Manifestoes 
The Viceroy on Communalism 

The Chelmsford Club Speech 

The Foona Speech 

The Indian Christians on Communalism 
Lord Olivier on Communalism 

His Letters to the Times 
The Allahabad Ramlila Procession 

Pt. Malaviya's Telegram 

The U. P. Government's Reply 

Pt. Maiaviya's Reply to Qovt. 

The U. Govt/s Final Reply 

The Celebration Abandoned 
The Murder of Swami Shraddananda 
The Patuakhali Satyagraha 

Mr. Ghose's Report 





















The India Office Estimates 

Earl Winterton's Speech 

The Labour Attack 

Mr. Thurtle's Speech 

Mr. Johnston's Speech 

Mr. Saklatval's Speech 
The Lords Debate on India 

Lord Olivier' s Speech 

Lord Bikenhead's Speech 

Lord Olivier's Disclaimer 

Lord Reading's Speech 
The Judicial Committee Bill 

The Attorney General's Speech 

The Labour Protest 

Mr. Kirkwood's Speech 

Mr. Maclean's Speech 

Miss Wilkinson's Speech 

Report of the Committee Discussion 


The International Labour Conference 
Personnel of the Indian Delegation 
The Credentials Committee 
Report of the Eighth Session 
Report of the Ninth Session 
The Non-official Report and Statement 
Mr. S. N. Haji's Statement 

The League of Nations Assembly 

Personnel of the Indian Delegation 
Maharaja Kapurthala's Speech 



( iV ) PAGB. 

Sk. Abdul Quadir's Speech 162 

Sir Ramaswami Ayyar's Speech 

On Budget of the League ... 163 

On Indians in League Secretariat 165 

Sir B. E. Mullick's Speech 166 

Sir W. Vincent's Speech 168 

Indian Journalist Invited to the League 172 

Indiana in South Africa 173 

Mr. Subramania Aiyar's Views 173 

Disabilities Under Union Laws 183 

Indians in East Africa 190 

The Poll Tax on Indians 190 

The Indian Minority Eeport 191 

Mr. D. B. Desai's Views 192 

Lord Olivier on S. African Indians 194 

His Letter in the " New Statesman " 194 

His Letter in the " Foreign Affairs " 197 

Indian Emigration in Fiji 199 



The Viceroy's Opening Address ... ... 201 

Riots and Music Before Mosque ... ... 203 

Official Bills introduced ... ... 204 

The Taxation Committee Eeport ... ... 204 

Cr. P. C. Amendment Bill ... ... 204 

Debate on the Currency Bill ... ... 206 

Mr. Rangachariar's Amendment 207 

Factories Act Amend. Bill ...' ... 209 

Retention of Rameswaran Station ... 209 

Resolution of Communal Disputes 210 

Mr. Rangachariar's Amendment ... 211 

Security for Costs in 2nd Appeals ... ... 212 

Provincial Insolvency Act Amend. Bill ... ... 212 

Indian Succession Act Amend. Bill ... ... 212 

Or. P. C. Amendment Bill (adjourned Debate) ... 213 

The Bar Councils Bill ... ... 216 

Indian Succession Act Amend. Bill ... ... 218 

Supplementary Grants ... ... 218 

Adjourned Debate on Communal Disputes ... 219 

Removal of Sex Disqualification ... ... 220 

Tributes to Mr. Patel ... ... 220 

The House Adjourned ... ... 221 


Pay of Madras Customs Clerks ... ... 222 

Enquiry into Co-operation Movement ... 222 

Official Bills ... ... 223 

Government Press Employees ... 223 

< v ) 

Enquiry into Indian Banking 

Official Bills 

The Taxation Committee Report 

The Bar Councils Bill 

ThejCr. P. C. Amend. Bill 

The Indian Succession Act Amend Bill 

The House Adjourned 

~ 225 



The Security Bill 

Lord Lytton's Opening Address 

Debate on the Bill 

The Bill Passed 

Enquiry into Police Administration 
Establishment of Union Boards 
The Howrah Bridge Bill 
Questions on Calcutta Riots 
Calcutta Port Trust Amend. Bill 
Supplementary Demands for Grants 

On the Grand Canal Scheme 

On the Police Expenditure 
Calcutta Municipal Amend. Bill 
Other Non-official Bills 
Non-official Resolutions 
The Council Adjourned 




Chief Court for Sind 
Bombay City Police Act 
Major Pogson's Appointment 
Discussion on Mr. Bole's Bill 
Local Board's Act Amend. Bill 
Prevention of Gambling Act 
Salaries of Primary Teachers 
Removal of Sex Disqualification 
The House Adjourned 

... 239 

238, 241, 243 

... 239 

... 240 

... 242 

... 242 

... 242 

... 243 

... 243 


The Malabar Tenancy Bill 

Pay of Unpassed Clerks 

Removal of Sex-Disqualification 

The Hindu Religious Endowment's Bill 

The Irrigation Bill 

The Malabar Tenancy Bill 

Other Non-official Bills 

The Hindu Religious Endowments Bill 

The House Adjourned 

244, 245 

( Vi ) PAGE. 


The Agra University Bill 253 

The Agra Tenancy Bill - - 254 

The Governo'r Message . 257 

The Tenancy Bill passed 258 

The Land Revenue Amend. Bill * 259 

The Bill Withdrawn 261 

The Agra University 'Bill - 261 

The House Adjourned 262 



The Popular Exposition 265 

Govt. of India Press Gomn, 268 

Chief Recommendations 269 

Summary of the Report 271 

Minute of Dissent 280 

Text of the Currency Bill 280(b) 



The Opening Day 281 

The Chairman's Address 282 

The Presidential Address 288 

Proceedings and Resolutions 312 
Murder of Swaini Shraddananda 
Indians in South Africa 

Indians in Kenya 315 

Work in the Legislature 316 

Work in the Country 322 

Work out-aide the Country 322 

The Bengal Detenues 323 

Messages of Sympathy 327 

Hindu Muslim Unity 328 

Currency 328 

Election of Office-Bearers 328 

The Khaddar Franchise 328 

Venue of the Next Congress 330 

The Gurdwara Prisoners 330 

The Congress Constitution 332 

Vote of Thanks to the Reception Committee 332 


The Welcome Address 335 

Election of the President 339 

The Presidential Address 340 

Proceedings and Resolutions 345 

Murder of S. Shraddananda 340 

v PAQi , 

Indians Abroad 345 

Release of Bengal Detenues ... ... 346 

Separation of Judiciary and Executive ... ... 343 

Hindu Muslim Relations * ... ... 345 

Co-operative Organisation and Army Indianiaation ... 349 

C. P. Land Revenue Enhancement ... ... 349 

Propaganda Work ... ... 350 

Indianisation of the Services ... ... 350 

Revision of the Indian Constitution ... ... 350 

Presidents' Concluding Speech ... ... 353 


The Chairman's Speech ... ... 354 

Pt. Malaviya s Address ... ... 355 

Proceedings and Resolutions ... ... 356 


The Welcome Address ... t.. 358 

Mr. R. N. Mudaliar's Speech ... ... 361 

The Presidential Address ... 362 

Proceedings and Resolutions ... 367 


The Welcome Address ... 369 

The Presidential Address ... 371 

Proceedings and Resolutions ... ... 373 


The Welcome Address *.. ... 377 

The Presidential Address ... ... 378 

Resolutions ... *. 380 


The Welcome Address ... 381 

Pfc. Nehru's Address ... 381 

Mr. Goswami's Presidential Address 382 


The Welcome Address .. ... 384 

The Presidential Address ... ... 384 

Resolutions ... ... 385 


The Welcome Address 386 

The Presidential Address ... ... 386 

Proceedings and Resolutions * t.. 387 

( via ) 


The Welcome Address ... 389 

The Presidential Address ... 392 

Proceedings and Resolutions ... 396 

Changes in the! Congress Creed 396 

Civil Disobedience 398 

Other Resolutions 398 


The Welcome Address - 399 

The Presidential Address .. 403 

Proceedings and Resolutions .. 409 


The Welcome Address 413 

The Presidential Address 417 

Proceedings 418 


The Welcome Address ... 423 

The Presidential Address ... ... 425 

Proceedings and Resolutions .. ... 431 

The Currency Resolution ... ... 432 


Development of Bengal Industries ... ... 446 

Protection to Steel Industry ... 449 

Chronicle of Events. 

July 1926 

1 July '26 Congress Earmi Sangha Meeting in Calcutta adopts Social reoonstraction 
work apart from political. 

Serious Riot at Pabna (Bengal) following a Hindu procession with Music 
in front of a Mosque. 

3 July do. Mrs. Sorojini Naidu at Chinsurah Desbandhu Das's Protrait unveiled. 

4 July do. Monster Meeting of Calcutta Hindus at the Town Hall to protest 

against the Govt. Communique of "No Music Before Mosque." Mr. J. N. 

Basu, the President, dwelt on the legal aspect of the question. Mr. 

Goswami characterised the Government's action as " pig-headed and 


Meeting of the Working Committee of the All-India Congress Committee 

in Calcutta. 

Dr. Eitohlew's impassioned appeal for unity to a Hindu-Mahomedan 

Meeting in Calcutta. 

5 July do. Dr. Kitchlew at Patna -Tanzim Movement explained. 

6 July do. Zamindar of Sitlai and Mr. Ranajit Lahiri arrested in connection with 

the immersion of mutilated images following the Pabna riot. 

7 July do. Sen Gnpta^Goswamy controversy compromise arrived at. 

Lord Olivier's letters to the "Times" on the Hindu-Moslem Tension- 
accused the Officials of Pro-Moslem bias. 

11 July do. Bind Journalists' Conference at Karachia Journalists' Society formed. 

All-India Anniversary Day of Late Desbandhu Das celebrated at Calcutta 
Bombay, Madras and other places with due solemnity. 
The Third Phase of the Calcutta riots began and continued up to the 
25th The Riot commenced on this day following the Raj Rajeawari 
Procession. i 

12 July do. Delhi Hindu Sabha protest against Bengal Government's decision re- 

garding Music before Mosque. 

Select Committee Report on the Howrah Bridge Bill considered and 

carried in the Bengal Council. 

18 July do. Howrah Bridge Bill passed in the Bengal Council. 

15 July do. Report of the Tariff Board published at Simla no protective duty on 
imported coal. 

17 July do. Lord Irwin's Speech on communal tension at the Cheimsford Club, 

Simla His Excellency's appeal for toleration and good-will. 

18 July do. All-India Cow Conference in Calcutta urged Government to regulate 

slaughter of cattle by legislation. 

19 July do, Hindu Moslem riot in Paikpara, Calcutta on the Car Festival day 1 

Hindu Killed, 5 Mahemedans, 2 Hindus wounded. 

21 July do. Serious riot in Calcutta during the Moharrum Procession Police 
compelled to fire on the tfahomedans. 


20 July f 26 Indian Debate in the House of CommonsBudget Estimates passed 
Earl Winterton on Communal tension and disintegration of Swarajists. 
Personnel of the Bombay Backbay Enquiry Committee announced 
Chairman : Sir GK Hears and Members : Sir M. Visvesvarayya, Sir, F. 
Hopkinson and Mr. 8. B. Billimoria. 
Serious Mill Strike at Bangalore 4 killed and 14 injured. 

23 July do, Manifesto of the Bengal Besponsivist Party issued at Calcuttathe party 
declared their policy of working the Reforms, however defective. 
The Local Self-Government Conference at Poona opened by H. E, the 

26 July do. B. P. C. C. Meeting in CalcuttaElection of 80 Members to the Execu- 

tive Committee. 

Public Meeting at Bombay on Communal tension a Bound Table Con* 

ference proposed. 

27 July do. Post piot Conference in Calcutta of Hindu and Moslem citizens led by 

Maharaja Bard wan and Nawab Murshidabad Sir B, N, Mitra's proposal 
for a Conciliation Board. 

28 July do. Indian Debate in Lords Lord Birkenhead on the Bengal Detenues 

more " goodwill " demanded. 

Lord Irwin at Poona In reply to the Moslem deputation His Excellency 

reiterated his deep anxiety to ease the communal tension. 

30 July do. The Mysore Economic Conference opened by the Dwan at Bangalore. 

81 July do. The Nehru-Azad Manifesto proposing an Indian National Union 

August 1926. 

I Aug. '26 Tilak Anniversary Day observed throughout India with great enthusiasm. 
8 Aug. do. Mr. Bole's Bill to amend the law relating to the emoluments of the Hindu 

priests passed third reading in the Bombay Council. 

4 Aug. do. Pt. Malaviya and Dr. Moonjee served with prohibition order not to enter 


5 Aug. do. Representative Labour Deputation submitted a Memorandum to the Home 

Member in which relief was sought in respect of Labour representation 
in the Councils and Assembly, tines levied on workers and the administra- 
tion of the Workmen's Compensation Act. 

6 Aug. do. Mr. Biswanath Das honourably acquitted by thd Madras High Court 

the Judges strongly condemned the prosecution tactics. 

7 Aug. do. The Indian Currency Bill published at Simla. 

Pt. Malaviya defied the prohibition order and arrived in Calcutta no 
arrest was made great sensation prevailed throughout the country. 

9 Aug. do. Dr. Moonji arrived in Calcutta not arrested. 

Summons issued against Pt. Malaviya and Dr. Moonji for disobeying 
the prohibition order. 

II Aug. do. Calcutta High Court in full Bench ruled that the Police can not detain 

arrested persons for an indefinite period without their being produced 
before the Magistrate * 


16 Aug. '26 Responsive Co-operation Party formed in Andhradesa provisional com- 

mittee appointed. 

Passing away of the Hon. Mr. M. A. Desai, the foremost Kenya Indian 


17 Aug. do. Indian disabilities in Natal The Township Ordinance ratified a blow 

to Indian civic rights. 

H. E. Lord 1^ win opened the autumn Session of the Central Legislature 

at Simla. 

18 Aug. do. The Calcutta Municipal Amendment Bill passed in the Bengal Council. 

19 Aug. do. Charges against Pt. Malaviya and Dr. Moonji withdrawn by the Bengal 


20 Aug. do. The Cr. Procedure Code Amendment Bill regarding the confiscation of 

communal literatures introduced in the Assembly by Sir A. Muddiman. 

23 Aug. do. The Currency Bill introduced in the Assembly Mr. Rangachariar' 
motion for eliciting opinion was put and carried. 

25 Aug. do. Conversations between the different Party leaders at Simla regarding the 

formation of a United Congress Party continued on this and follow- 
ing days. 

26 Aug. do. Lala Lajpat Rai's resignation from the Swaraj Parly The Historic 

Correspondence between Pt. Nehru and Lala Lajpat Rai. (See p. 51). 

Congress Working Committee meeting held at Simla. 

Cr. P. C. Amendment Bill passed in Assembly after a heated debate. 

Mr. Rangachanar's motion for limiting operation of the Bill for two years 

was lost. 

Bar Councils Bill psssed in the Assembly. 

27 Aug. do. Discussion on the Irrigation Bill in the Madras Council adjourned 

" Sine Die ". 

28 Aug. do. Inauguration meeting of the Responsive Co-operation Party in Calcutta 

presided over by Mr. B. Chakiavarti. 

29 Aug. do: B. P. C. C. meeting in Calcuttacompromise with the Karmi Sangha 


September 1926. 

1 Sept. '26 A Deputation of Indian Christians to H. E. the Viceroy under the 
leadership of Sir Harnam Singh deplored the extension of communal 
representation to the Services and urged that merit should constitute tho 
main condition for admission to the Services. 

S Sept. do. The Bar Councils Bill as amended by the Council of State passed in the 
The Malabar Tenancy Bill passed in the Madras Council. 

3 Sept. do. Conference of Presidents and Dy. Presidents of the Assembly and 
Councils held at Simla on this and next day. 

5 Sept. do. The Bengal Nationalist party in a manifesto condemned the obstruc- 
tionist policy and urged the working of the reforms in the Council, 
The Congress Electioneering Campaign opened at Meerut by Pt. 
and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu. 


6 Sept. '26 Political Situation in the Country Mahatma Gandhi appealed to to leave 
his seclusion and assume leadership The Mahatma's advice : " Follow 
the lead of the Oharka ". 

Sir Abdnr Rahim's Manifesto outlining the Policy of the Bengal Muslim 
Party issued. 

The Seventh Session of the Assembly of the League of Nations held 
at Geneva from 6th to 25th. Speeches delivered by the Indian Delega- 
tion. (See p. 169). 

7 Sept. do. Ft. Nehru at Aligarh Congress principles explained. 

8 Sept. do. Hindu-Moslem riot at Dacca following the Janmasthami Procession. 

9 Sept. do. Calcutta European Association's telegram to the Government of India 

alleging the partial trial of Europeans charged with assaults on Indians 
in Assam and Bengal. 

10 Sept. do. Informal meeting of the Indian National Union at DelhiDraft rules 

framed Members to sign a pledge. 

11 Sept. do. Conference of the Independent Congress Party at Delhi Compromise 

with the Swarajists failed. 

12 Sept. do. Congress Working Committee meeting at Delhi eulogised Mr. Andrews 

for his invaluable and selfless services abroad. 

Hindu-Moslem Riot at Allahabad on the occasion of the Dadhkando 

festival 2 killed and 27 injured. 

17 Sept. do. The Independent Party's election campaign opened by Pt. Malaviya- 

at Lahore. 

The Hindu Religious Endowments Bill passed in the Madras Council. 

18 Sept. do. Sir Abdur Rahim's manifesto on behalf of Bengal Muslim Party no 

desire to injure Hindu interests. 

Arrival of the South African Parliamentary Deputation headed by the 

Hon. Mr. F. W. Beyers at Bombay. 

20 Sept. do. H. E. the Governor of Bengal withheld assent to the Calcutta Municipal 

Amendment Bill. 

21 Sept. do. Conference of Ministers and Commissioners of Excise from several parts 

of India opened by the Finance Member at Simla. 

22 Sept. do. Annual meeting of the Madras Presidency Muslim League with Mr. 

Takub Hasan in the Chair the Hindus accused for turning the Muslim 
community into the Sixth Indian Caste. 

28 Sept. do. Central Khilafat Committee meeting at Delhi Report of the Indian 
Delegation to the Hedjaz Muslim Conference discussed. 
Arrival of the South African Deputation at Madras. 

26 Sept. do. The Indian Hedjaz Conference opened at Luoknow under the Chairman- 

ship of Mr. Salebhoy Barodawalla. 

27 Sept. do. Opium Smoking Bill passed in the Assam Council punishment of im- 

prisonment or fine to two or more persons smoking in company. 

Akali Leaders' Can withdrawn by the Punjab Government fourtene 
leaders released on this day. 

October 1 926, 

9 Oct. *26 The Indian National Party opened election campaign in Bombay with 
Sir P. Thakurdas in the Chair. 

'26] crfRONlCLE OF EVENTS j 

5 Oct. '26 Crowded Meeting of Hindus at Allahabad under Ft. Malaviya to protest 
against the restriction on Ramlila Procession. 

7 Oct. do. Bailway Conference at Simla presided over by Col. Walton. 

The Labour Conference at Margate "Subject Peoples' right to Self. 

8 Oct. do. Opening the Indian National Council of Y. M. C. A. in London. 

Lord Birkenhead agreed to accept the Indian Demand for Swaraj on two 
conditions : " Co-operation and Communal Concord. 11 

10 Oct. do. His Excellency Lord Lytton resumed office as Governor of Bengal on 

return from leave. 

11 Oct. do. The Royal Commission on Agriculture held its first sitting in Simla with 

the Marquis of Linlithgow in the Chair. 

The Mysore Provincial Co-operative Conference opened by the Dewan at 

the Bangacharlu Memorial Hall, Mysore. 

13 Oct. do. After a three weeks' sojourn in India, which was one long round of 
dinners and sight-seeing, the Deputation from South Africa left Bombay 
on their return journey. 

16 Oct. do. Ramlila Procession abandoned at Allahabad elsewhere passed off 

18 Oct. do. Strike in Bombay Mills due to effect of depression in cotton trade 

about 8,000 holding out. 

19 Oct. do. The Ninth Imperial Conference opened in London India represented 

by Earl Winterton and Maharaja Burdwan. 

The Government of India's reply to the European Association that 

assault cases of Europeans on Indians should be fairly and impartially 


20 Oct. do. The General Election Manifesto of the Indian National Congress issued 

from Madras. 

22 Oct. do. Lord Birkenhead's Speech at a gathering of Dominion Premiers at 
Guildhall His promise of " generous " response to Co-operation. 
Bombay Business Associations 1 strong protest to Viceroy on the deflation 
of Currency as being detrimental to Agriculturists 1 interests. 
Death of Mr. 8. Bangaswami lyengar, Editor of the u Hindu. 11 Madras. 
Biot at Chapra (Behar) following the sacrifice of a pig eight persons 

25 Oct. do. The Governor of Assam withheld assent to the Assam Opium Smoking 
Bill passed in the Council. 

27 Oct. do. Inaugural Meeting of the Indian Currency League at Bombay, Sir 
V. Sassoon presided. 

29 Oct. do. Inaugural Meeting of the League of Nations Union, Madras Branch, 
presided over by His Excellency the Governor. 

80 Oct. do. Police Oommisiioners' report on the third phase of the Calcutta Biotf 

November 1 926. 

1 tfov. '26 Governor of Madras withheld Assent to the Malabar tenancy Bill passed 
in the Council. 

4 No? . do. Maharaja Bnrdwan's advice to Indian Students in Englanda "disaster* 
if they cheriih A dislike oi Britain. 


6 Nov. '26 Sir T. Vijiarghavachariars* arrival from Canada the Canadian People's 
Sympathy with India's aspirations. 

6 Nov. do. U. P. Indian Christian Conference at Allahabad with Mr. Jordan in 
the Chair. 

12 Nov. do. The Madras Unemployment Committee appointed by the Government 
to inquire and find out a solution for unemployment among middle classes 
commenced its sittings under the Chairmanship of Sir -G. Paddison. 
Statute of Mr. G. K, Gokhale unveiled by His Excellency the Governor 
in the Senate House, Madras. 

15 Nov. do. Deccan Sabha's send off to Rt. Hon. Mr, Sastri on the eve of his depar- 

ture to S. Africa to participate in the Bound Table Conference. 

16 Nov. do. Death of the Hon. Justice Sir Lallnbhai A. Shah at Bombay. 

Finance Members* Conference opened at Delhi Discussion on Meston 

19 Nov. do. The International Textile Workers' Delegation under their leader, the 

Bt. Hon. Tuomas Shaw arrived in Bombay. 

Mr. Satin Sen, the leader of the Patnakhali Satyagraha arrested under 

Police Act. 

20 Nov. do. Report of the Imperial Conference published in London The report 

explains that no mention is made of India because the position of India 
is defined by the Government of India Act 1919.' 

22 Nov. do. Hearty Send-off at Bombay to the Hon. Mr. Habibulla, the Rt. Hon . 
Mr. Sastri, Sir P. Sethna and Sir D. Lindsay, the Indian Delegates to the 
Cape Town Round Table Conference. 

Chamber of Princes opened at Delhi by His Excellency the Viceroy- 
proceedings not open to the Press. 

25 Nov. do. The Railway Rates Advisory Committee commenced its sittings at Delhi- 
enquiry held into freight concessions. 

The Punjab Enquiry Committee Report on the Commercial education in 
the Punjab published Post Matriculation classes advocated. 

28 Nov. do. The Eighth Andhra Provincial Conference commenced its session at 

Ellore under the Presidency of Mr. K. Yiraraghavaswami. 
Andhra. Social Reform Conference held at Ellore^under the presidency of 
Dr. M. Rangayya. 

29 Nov. do, Aerial Transport in India The Indian Air Board's recommendation 8 

to the Goveinment of India for subsidising commercial Air services 

80 Nov. do. St. Andrews 1 Dinner in Calcutta Lord Lytton on the failure of Reform 
in Bengal Mutual lack of faith the cause. 

December 1 926. 

1 Dec. do* Appeal in the Panipat Riot Case concluded at Lahore Sentences 


Second reading of the Judicial Committee Bill moved in the House of 


2 Dec. do. Government of Bengal's resolution on the Excise policy System of Licen- 

sing Boards to be extended. 

B Deo. do. Sixth Puddukottah Peoples' Conference under the Presidency of Mr. 8. 
Batyamurthi who urged everybody to " assert the right of Swaraj.** 


4 Deo, '26 Thirty-Second Session of the Tamil Nadu Provincial Conference held 

at Madras under the presidency of Mr. E. V. Bangaawami lyengar. 
Fourth Annual Conference of the European Association held at Cawnpore 
under the presidency of Mr. Langford James. 

5 Deo, do. B. P. C. C. meeting in Calcutta ended in blows and fusillade of bricks 

and stonesPolice help sought five persons arrested. 
Twentieth Session of the U. P. Provincial Conference opened at Kashi- 
pur under the presidency of Babu Shiva Prosad Gupta. 

6 Dec. do. The Eighth Annual meeting of the Associated Chambers of Commerca 

opened by H, E. the Viceroy at Cawnpore. 

9 Dec. do. The Indian School of Mines at Dhanbad opened by H. E. the Viceroy. 
12 Dec. do. Punjab P. C. 0. Meeting Compromise resolution passed, 

14 Dec. do. Opening of the New Madras Council after the general elections under 
the Chairmanship of Mr. Wood. 
Arrival of the South African Delegation at Mozambique. 
European Association's dinner to H. E. the Viceroy in Calcutta Mr. 
Langford James 1 amazing speech : " We have a right to be in India 
on moral, but equally strong grounds." 

17 Dec, do, The Bound Table Conference opened by Gen. Hertzog in Cape Town 
and then adjourned till 20th. 

Informal Conference of the Indian Mining Federation with Sir Charles 
Innes in Calcutta Bed action in freight of Coal urged. 

19 Dec. do, Universal Prayer Day throughout South Africa and India for the success 
of the Bound Table Conference. 

SI Deo, do, Annual Meeting of the Madras Chamber of Commerce under the presidency 
of Mr. C. E. Wood Beview of Trade conditions. 

23 Deo. do. Murder of Swami Shraddananda Sanyasi at Delhi by a Moslem Fanatic- 
horror and indignation throughout the country. 

25 Dec. do, Tenth Session of the Non-Brahmin Conference opened at Madura under 

the presidency of Sir A. P. Patro. 

26 Dec. do. Forty first Session of the Indian National Congress opened at Gauhaft 

under the presidency of Mr. Srinivaea lyengar. 

27 Dec. do. The National Liberal Federation opened at Akola under the presidency 

of Sir Sivaawami Aiyar 

All-India Political Sufferers* Conference held at Gauhati under the 

Presidency of Dr. B. N. Dutt. 

All-India Volunteer's Conference held at Gauhati under the Presidency 

of Pt. Motilal Nehru. 

28 Dec, do. Special Session of the All-India Hindu Mabasabha opened at Gauhati 

under the Presidency of Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya. 

Thirteenth Session of the All-India Christian Conference opened at 

Madras under the Presidency of Bai A. C. Mnkherjee Bahadur. 

29 Dec. do. Eighteenth Session of the All-India Muslim League held at Delhi under 

the Presidency of Khan Bahadur Sk, Abdul Qadir. 

Annual Meeting of the Bengal Police Association at Calcutta under the 

Presidency of Mr. S. N. Banerjee, 

All- India Kayastha Conference at Calcutta under the Presidency of Mr S, 
M. Chitnavis. 

31 Dec, do. East African Indian Congress at Mombaasa passed resolution expressing 
grief at the ead murder of Swami Shraddananda. 

Fourth Session of the Indian Industrial Congress opened in Calcutta anger 
the Presidency of Sir Dinshaw Petit. 


July-December 1926 

All-India Congress Committee 

Constitution of the Congress. 

The following is the full text of the constitution of the Indian 
National Congress as amended at the Gauhati Session, 1926, and pub- 
lished by the General Secretary of the All-India Congress Committee. 


The object of the Indian National Congress is the attainment of 
Object Swarajya by the people of India by all 

legitimate and peaoeful means. 


(a) The Indian National Congress shall ordinarily meet once every 
Sessions of the Congress y ar during the last week of December at 

such place as may have been decided upon 

at its previous session or such other place as may have been determined 
by the All-India Congress Committee hereinafter referred to. 

(b) An extraordinary session of the Congress shall be summoned by 
the All-India Congress Committee on the requisition of a majority of the 
Provincial Congress Committees or of its own motion, provided, in the latter 
case, due notice has been given and the proposal is supported by two thirds 
of the members present. The All-India Congress Committee shall determine 
the place where such session is to be held, and the Articles of the constitu- 
tion shall apply with such modifications as the All-India Congress Committee 
may consider necessary in respect of each such session. 


The Indian National Congress organisation shall consist of the following : 
Component parts of the Congress. <> The Indian National Congress, (b) The 

All-India Congress Committee, (c) Provin- 
cial Congress Committees, (d) District Congress Committees, (e) Sub- 
Divisional, Taluq or Tab ail, Firka and other local Congress Committees. (/) 
Such other committees outside India as may from time to time be recognis- 
ed by the Congress in this behalf, (g) The Reception Committee of the 

NOTE : Provincial, District, Taluq or Tahsil and other conferences may 
be organised by the above-named committees for educative and propaganda 


No person shall be eligible to be a member of any of the organisations 
Congress membership. referred to in the foregoing Article, unless 

he or she has attained the age of 18 and 

expresses in writing his or her acceptance of the object and the methods as 
laid down in Article I of this constitution and of the rules of the Congress. 




The following shall be the prov'rces with head-quarters mentioned 
Provincial Congress Committees, against them, but in every case the respective 

Provincial Congress Committee shall have the 
power to alter the head-quarters from time to time. 


1 Ajmer, Merwara and 

Raj put na 

2 Andhra ... 

4 Bebar ... 

6 Bengal and Snrma 


5 Berar 

7 Burma ... 

8 Central Provinces ... 


9 Central Provinces ... 


10 City of Bombay 
It Delhi ... 

12 Gujarat ... 

13 Earnatak 

14 Kerala ... 

15 Maharashtra 

16 Punjab and N. W. 

Frontier Provinces 

17 Sind 

18 Tamil Nadu 

19 United Provinces 

20 Utkal ... 


Hindustani ... 



Marathi and Gujarat! 

Hindustani ... 





Punjabi and Hindustani 



Hindustani ... 

















Provided that the All India Congress Committee may from time to 
Indian States. ** me asi g n particular Indian States to par- 

ticular provinces, and a provincial Congress 

Committee may in its turn allot particular Indian States assigned to it by 
the All India Congress Committee to particular districts within its jurisdic- 


(a) There shall be a Provincial Congress Committee in and for each 
Provincial Organisation. of the Provinces named in the foregoing 


(b) Each Provincial Congress Committee shall organise District and 
other committees referred to in Article III and shall have the power to 
frame rules laying down conditions of membership and for the conduct of 
business not inconsistent with this constitution or any rules made by the 
All India Congress Committee. 

(c) Each Provincial Congress Committee shall consist of representa- 
tives elected annually by the members of the Congress organisations in the 
province in accordance with the rules made by the Provincial Congress 

(d) Each Provincial Congress Committee shall submit an annual report 
of the Congress work in the province to the All India Congress Committee 
before the 30th November. 



(i) Every person not disqualified under Article IV and paying a suba- 

Franchiee oription of 6 annas per year in advance, or 

200 yards of evenly spun yarn of his or her 

own spinning, shall be entitled to become a member of any primary organisa- 
tion controlled by a Provincial Congress Committee : provided that no persoi 
shall be a member of two parallel Congress organisations at one and the 
same time. 

(ii) The yarn subscription mentioned in section (i) shall be sent direct 
by the spinner to the Secretary, All India Spinners' Association or to any 
person nominated by the Secretary in this behalf, and a certificate from the 
Secretary, All India Spinners' Association to the eflect that he has received 
200 yards of evenly spun yarn of the holder's own spinning as his or hej 
yearly subscription shall entitle the holder to the membership ment'ored in 
section (i) hereof : provided that for the purpose of checking the accuracy of 
the returns made by the All India Spinners' Association, the All India 
Congress Committee or any Provincial Congress Committee or any sub-com- 
mittee thereunder shall have the right to inspect the accounts, the stock and 
the vouchers of the All India Spinners' Association or any subordinate organis- 
ation thereunder and provided further that in the eve^t of any inaccuracy or 
error discovered by the inspecting body in the accounts, stock or vouchers 
examined, the certificates issued by the All India Spinners' Association in 
respect of persons with reference to wnose membership the accounts have 
been examined, shall be declared cancelled ; provided that the All India 
Spinners' Association or the percon disqualified shall have the rignt of appeal 
to the Working Committee. Any person wishing to spin lor the mem- 
bership of the Congress may, if he or she desires, be supplied upon due 
security with cotton for spinning. 

(iii) The year of the membership shall be reckoned from the 1st 
January to the 31st December and there shall be no reduction in the subs- 
cription to be paid by members joining in the middle of the year. 

(iv) a. No person shall be entitled to vote at the election of repre- 
sentatives or delegates or any committee or sub-committee of any Congress 
organisation whatsoever or to be elected as such or to take part in any 
meeting of the Congress or Congrats organisation or any committee or sub- 
committee thereof, if he has not complied with section (i) hereof and does 
not habitually wear hand-spun and hand-woven khaddar. 

b. The Working Committee shall frame rules for the proper carrying 
out of the provisions of this section. 


Each Provincial Congress Committee shall be responsible for the election 
Electorates and Delegates. of delegates to the Congress. 

No one who had not enlisted himself as a Congress member on or 
before the 1st October immediately preceding a particular session of the 
Congress shall be qualified for election as a delegate to that session. 

The merrbe 's of the All -India Cong, ess Comm'ttee shall be ex-officio 
delegates to the Congress. Be:'des these ex-officio de'egate the number of 
delegates return*. Ve by Provincial Congress Committees shall be not more 
than one for eve y firty thousar d, or its fraction, of the inhabitants of each 
province; including the Indian States therein* in accordance wfth the oenivw 


of 1921 ; provided, however, that the inclusion of Indian States in the 
electorate shall not be taken to include any interference by the Congress 
with the internal affairs of such States. 

Each Provincial Congress Committee shall frame rules for the election 
of delegates, due regard being had to the return of women delegates and 
the representation of minorities, special interests or classes needing special 

The rules shall provide for the organisation of electorates and shall 
prescribe the procedure to be adopted for securing the proportional repre- 
sentation, by a single transferable vote or by any other method, of every 
variety of political opinion. Notice of all changes in the rules framed by 
the Provincial Congress Committee shall forthwith be sent to the general 
secretaries of the Congress. 

Each Provincial Congress Committee shall send to the office of the All- 
India Congress Committee, an alphabetical list of the delegates so elected, 
containing the full name, occupation, age, sex, religion and address of each 
of them to reach the office not later than 10 days before the date fixed for 
the holding of the session. No changes shall be made in the list within 
ten days of the Congress. In case, however, of interim vacancies, the 
Provincial Congress Committee shall fill them in accordance with the rules 
made in that behalf. Such rules shall not be valid unless they have been 
previously confirmed by the Working Committee. 


Each Provincial Congress Committee shall pay annually such subscrip- 

Provincial SubecriptionB. tion to the A1Hndia Congress Committee as 

may be fixed by the latter from time to time, 


Each committee referred to in Article VIII, shall issue certificates to the 

Delegation Certificate. delegates duly elected in accordance with the 

form and signed by a secretary of the committee, 


Every delegate on presenting such a certificate and paying a fee of one 

Delegate's Fee rupee at the office of the All-India Congress 

Committee in the Congress camp at the place 

where the Congress is held shall receive a ticket entitling him to admission 
to the Congress. 


Delegates shall alone have the power of voting at the Congress sittings 
Voting at Congress. or otherwise taking part in its deliberations, 


The Reception Committee shall be formed by the Provincial Congress 
Reception Committee. Committee at least six months before the 

meeting of the annual session and may in- 
clude persons who are not members of the Provincial Congress Committee. 
The members of the Reception Committee shall pay not less than Es. 25 each. 


The Reception Committee shall elect its chairman and other office- 
bearers from amongst its own members, 



It shall be the duty of the Reception Committee to collect funds for the 
expenses of the Congress session* to elect the president of the Congress in 
the manner set forth in the following Article, to make all necessary arrange- 
ments for the reception and accommodation of delegates and guests and, as 
far as practicable, of visitors, and for the printing and publication of the 
report of the proceedings, and to submit statements of receipts and expen- 
diture to the Provincial Congress Committee within four months of the 
session of the Congress. 


The several Provincial Congress Committees shall, as far as possible, 
Election * the President. J* the end of June, suggest to the Reception 

Committee the names of persons who are in 

their opinion eligible for the presidentship of the Congress, and the Reception 
Committee shall, as far as possible, in the first week of July, submit to all the 
Provincial Committees the names so suggested, for their fiual recommenda- 
tions ; provided that such final recommendation will be of any one but not 
more of such names, and the Reception Committee shall, as far as possible, 
meet in the month of August to consider such recommendations* If the 
person recommended by a majority of the Provincial Congress Committees is 
adopted by a majority of the members of the Reception Committee present 
at a special meeting called for the purpose, that person shall be the president 
of the next Congress. If, however, the Reception Committee is unable to 
accept the president recommended by the Provincial Congress Committees, 
or an emergency arises by resignation, death or otherwise, of the pres ; dent 
elected in this manner, the matter shall forthwith be referred by it to the 
All-India Congress Committee whose decision shall be arrived at, as far as 
possible, before the end of September. In either case, the election shall be 
final, provided that in no case shall the person so elected as president belong 
to the province in which the Congress is to be held. 

The president of a special or extraordinary session shall be elected by 
the All-India Congress Committee subject to 'the same proviso. 


(a) The All-India Congress Committee shall pay to the Reception Com* 
mittee within a fortnight after the termination of the Congress session half 
the delegation fees. 

(b) If the Reception Committee has a balance after defraying all the 
expenses of the session, it shall hand over the same to the Provincial Con- 
gress Committee in the province in which the session was held, towards the 
Provincial Congress fund of that province. 


(a) The receipts and expenditure of the Reception Committee shall 

Audifc< be audited by an auditor or auditors appointed 

by the Provincial Congress Committee con- 

cerned, and the statement of accounts together with the Provincial Con* 
gress Committee not later than six months from the termination of the 
Congress, to the All-India Congress Committee. 

(b) The accounts of the All-India Congreis Committee shall be 
audited every year by an auditor appointed at the annual session, It 


shall be competent to this auditor to call for and inspect the accounts of the 
Provincial Congress Committees. 

(c) The All India Congress Committee shall take steps to ensure that 
the accounts oi the Provincial Congress Committees are properly audited. 


The All India Congress Committee shall consist of 350 members, 
All India Congress Committee. exclusive of ex-officio members. 

The ex-officio members shall be the elected president, past presidents 
of the Congress if they sign Article I of this constitution and are memoe:s 
of any Congress organisation, the general secretaries arid the treasurers 
of the Congress. 

Each Provincial Congress Committee shall elect tl e allotted number of 
members of the All India Congress Committee from among the members 
of the Congress Committee* within its jurisdiction. 

The Allotment shall be, as far as possible, on the basis of population 
according to the linguistic distribution of provinces, as given in page 10. 

The method of election shall be the same as already prescribed for the 
election of delegates. 

ElecJons to the All India Congress Committee shall ordinarily take 
place in the month of November. 

Casual vacancies in the All India Congress Committee caused by re- 
signation, death, absenca from India, or oth( -wise, shall be filled by the 
Provincial Congress Committee. 

The AH India Congress Committee si 11 meet as often as may be 
necjssary for the discharge of its obligations, and every time upon requisition 
by 30 members thereof, who shall state in their requisition the defir ice 
purpose for which they desi e a nreeting of the All India Corgress Commix. y, a. 
When once such a meeting is requisitioned and convened, additional subjects 
may be brought up for consideration, provided due notice has been given 
to the members of the same. 

The quorum for the All India Co jgress Committee shall be fifty. 

The All India Congress Committee shall hold office till the election of 
the new All India Congress Committee. 


The secretaries of the respective Provincial Congress Committee shall 
issue certificates of membership of the All India Congress Committee to the 
persona so elected, 


The All India Congress Committee shall be the committee of the 
Function of A I C Congress to carry out the programme of work 

* laid down by the Congress from year to year 

and deal with all new matters that may arise during the year and may not 
be provided for by the Congress itself. For this purpose the All India 
Congress Committee shall have the power to frame its own rules not incon- 
sistent with this constitution. 


The president of the Congress shall be the chairman of the All India 
Congress Committee for the year fo^owing. 



The Indian National Congress shall have three general secretaries and 
General Secretaries and two treasurers* who shall be annually elected 

Treasurers. fc y the Congress. 

The treasurer shall be in charge of the funds of the Congress and shall 
keep proper accounts of them. The general secretaries shall be in charge 
of the office of the All India Congress Comnr'ttae and shall be responsible 
for the publication of the repors of the proceedings of the preceding session 
of the Congress and of any special session held in the course of the year, 
in co-operation with the Reception Committee. Such report shall be 
published as soon as possible and not later than four months after the session) 
and shall be offered for sale. 

The general secretaries shall prepare the report of the work of the 
All India Congress Committee during the year and submit it, with a full 
accornij of the funds which may come into their hands, to the All India 
Congress Committee at a meeting to be held ft the place and about the time 
of toe session of the Congress for the year ; and copies of such account and 
report shall then be presented to the Congress and sent to the Congress 
Committee and published along with the next Congress report. 

The AH India Congress Committee shall, at it* first meeting after t'ie 

Working Committee. a jnual session of the Congress, elect nhe 

members who shall, with the president, 

general secretaries and treasure 1 ^, be the Working Co nmittee of the Con- 
gress and the executive authority responsible to the All India Congress 
Committee in all matters. 

All proceedings of the Working Committee shall be placed before the 
next meeting of the All India Congress Committee. 


The members of the All-India Congress Committee shall constitute the 
Subjects Committee. Subjects Committee for the ordinary or extra- 

ordinary session following. 


The Subjects Committee shall meet at-leas^ two days before the meeting 
of the Congress in open session. At this meeting, the president-elect shall 
preside, and the outgoing secretaries stnll submit the draft programme of 
the work for the ensuing session of the Congress, including resolutions re- 
commended by the different Provincial Congress Committees for adoption. 


The Subjects Committee shall proceed to discuss the said programme 
and shall frame resolutions to be submitted to the open session. 


The Subjects Committee shall also meet from time to time, as the 
occasion may require, during the pendency of the Congress session, 



No subject shall be passed for discussion by the Subjects Committee 

or ** l <>& to be discussed at any Congress 
tV the president thereof, to the introduction 
of which the Hindu or Mohammedan dele* 
gates, as a body, object by a majority of three-fourths of their number, and 
if, after the discussion of any subject which has been admitted for discus- 
sion, it shall appear that the Hindu or Mohammedan debates, as a body* 
are, by a majority of three-fourths of their number, opposed to the resolu- 
tion which it is proposed to pass thereon, such resolution shall be dropped. 


At each sitting of the Congress, the order in which business shall be 

Order of Business, transacted shall be as follows : -(a) The re- 

solutions recommended for adoption by the 

Subjects Committee, (b) Any substantive motion not included in (a) but 
which does not fall under Article XXIX of the constitution and which 25 
delegates request the president in writing, before the commencement of the 
day's sitting, to be allowed to place before the Congress ; provided, however, 
that no such motion shall be allowed unless it has been previously discussed 
at a meeting of the Subjects Committee and has received the support of at 
least a third of the members then present. 


The All-India Congress Committee shall have the power to frame rules 
Bule-making power * n res P ect * ^l matters not covered by the con- 

" stitution and not inconsistent with its Articles. 


The All-India Congress Committee shall, at its first meeting every year, 
Election disputes panel. nominate a panel of twelve members to en- 

quire into and finally decide all election 

disputes coming before it. The parties to the dispute shall nominate one 
each out of this panel to represent the respective disputants, and the pre- 
sident shall choose the third. 


The proceedings of the Congress, the All-India Congress Committee 
Languages for proceedings. * od the Working Committee shall ordioarily 

be conducted in Hindustani ; the English 

language or any provincial language may be used if the speaker is unable to 
speak in Hindustani or whenever necessary. 

The proceedings of the Provincial Congress Committees shall ordinarily 
be conducted in the language of the province concerned. Hindustani may 
also be used. 


The Congress Election Manifesto. 

In October 1926, on the eve of the General Elections) an Election 
Manifesto of the Indian National Congress was issued under the authority 
of the Congress Working Committee by Mr. Rangaswami lyengar, General 
Secretary* All-India Congress Committee. 

The Manifesto surveyed the evolution of the Congress policy in the 
last three years and showed that " Self-reliance ", an attitude of " resistance " 
to the Government, the refusal of supplies unless otherwise directed by the 
Working Committee and non-acceptance of office were among the most 
important points in the Congress Programme. The following is the text 
of the Manifesto : 


The Indian National Congress is taking part in the general elections 
to the Legislatures for the first time. The circumstances in which it has 
decided to do so are well-known and need not be set out here. All that is 
necessary is to recapitulate some of the resolutions passed by the Congress 
and the A. I. C. C. so far as they bear on the principles and policy which 
will govern Congressmen who are elected to the Legislatures of the country. 


2. The A. I. C. C. at its meeting held at Patna on the 22nd September 
1925 resolved that "the Congress do now take up and carry on all such 
political work as may be necessary in the interest of the country " and pro- 
vided that " the work in connection with the Indian and Provincial Legis- 
latures shall be carried on in accordance with the policy and programme 
laid down by the Swaraj Party under the Constitution framed by the Party 
and the rules thereunder} subject to such modifications made by the Congress 
as may be found necessary from time to time for the purpose of carrying 
out the siid policy-" This resolution was confirmed by the Congress at its 
Cawnpore session and the basic principle on which all political work was to 
be carried on was laid down in the following terms : 

" This Congress reiterates its faith in Civil Disobedience as the omly effective weapon 
to be used in the last resort to enforce the national claim and vindicate oar 
national honour, but realises that the country is not now ready for it and in view 
thereof this Congress resolves that the guiding principle in carrying on all 
political work shall be self-reliance in all activities which make for the healthy 
growth of the nation and resistance to every activity, governmental or other, 
that may impede the nation's progress towards Swaraj. 

The Congress Adopts Swarajya Party Programme. 

3, As regards the work in the Councils the Congress adopted " on 
behalf of the country the terms of the settlement offered to the Government 
by the Swaraj and Independent parties of the Assembly by the resolution 
passed on the 18th February 1924", and in view of the fact that there had 
been no response on behalf of the Government, the Congress resolved upon 
certain steps to be taken in the various legislatures culminating in the with- 
drawal of all Swarajist members from them. By the same resolution the 
Congress called upon the A. I. C. C. to frame a programme of work, includ- 
ing the education of the electorates, and authorised it to lay down the lines 
upon which the general elections were to be run by and in the name of the 
Congress and to state clearly the issues on which Congressmen were to seek 



election. The power thus conferred upon the A. I. C. C. was subject to 
the important proviso that " the policy of non-acceptance of offices in the 
gift of the Government shall continue to be followed until, in the opinion of 
the Congress, a satisfactory response to the settlement offered by the 
Assembly is made by the Government ". The A. I. C. C. at its meeting 
held in Delhi gave the necessary directions for the carrying out of the 

mandate of the Congress and laid down that : 

The ensuing general elections will be ran by and in the name of the Congress on the 
following programme, subject to such modifications as may be made by the Congress in its 
session of December 1926. 

The general policy of Congressmen in the Assembly and the various Councils shall 
be one of determined resistance and obstruction to every activity, Governmental or other, 
that may impede the nation's progress towards Swaraj; and in particular, Congressmen in 
the legislatures shall : 

(a) refuse to accept offices in the gift of the Government until, in the opinion of the 

Congress, a satisfactory response is made by the Government ; 

(b) refuse supplies and throw out budgets, (unless otherwise directed by the All 

India Working Committee) until such response ia made by the Government ; 

(c) throw out all proposals for legislative enactments by which the bureaucracy 

proposes to consolidate its powers ; 

(d) move resolutions and introduce and support measures and bill which are necessary 

for the healthy growth of national life and the advancement of the economical, 
agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests of the country ; 

(e) take steps to improve the condition of agricultural tenants by introducing and 

supporting measures to secure fixity of tenure and other advantages with due 
regard to the rights of Zamindars ; and 

(f) generally protect the rights of labour, agricultural and industrial, and adjust the 

relations between landlords and tenants, capitalists and workmen. 
All Congressmen in the Central and Provincial Legislatures with only 
one or two lamentable exceptions having faithfully obeyed the Congress 
mandate, the Working Committee has approved, and have authorised me to 
publish this as the election manifesto of the Congress. 

4. It will be evident from the above resume of the proceedings of the 
Congress and the A.I.C.C. that, subject to any changes made by the Congress 
from time to time, the policy and programme of the Swaraj Party were 
adopted as they stood on the dates on which the Congress of Cawnpore and 
the A.I.C.C, at Delhi passed the resolutions referred to above. This policy 
and programme have been the subject of considerable misrepresentation in a 
section of the Press and by persons who have since seceded from the Congress. 
It is therefore necessary to remove all misapprehension by tracing as briefly 
as possible the gradual development of the Swarajist policy and stating 
clearly what the Congress stands for to-day. 

5. The election manifesto of the Swaraj Party issued on the eve of the 
last general elections declared that " the Party will not concern itself with 
trivial reforms in the various departments of the administration to be obtained 
by the grace of the Government, but would insist on the transference of the 
power to effect the necessary reforms from the bureaucracy to the people of 
India." It may be safely asserted that the Swaraj Party has, through good 
and evil report, firmly adhered to this policy which must bo taken to be and 
is hereby declared to be the general policy of the Congress. The same 
manifesto provided for certain contingencies which did not happen, but 
advantage has been taken of these provisions to discredit the Swaraj Party, 
as, for instance, the constant harping upon the phrase " uniform, continuous 
and consistent obstruction/' conveniently ignoring the preceding words " if 
they (the Swaraj Party) constitute a majority," There was indeed such a 
majority in the C, P, Council only ; but as it turned out soon after the 


election, a considerable proportion of that majority was not Swarajist by 
conviction, but had joined the Party to mark time. They have since openly 
declared their lack of faith in the Swarajist principles and have joined one 
or other of the new parties recently formed to oppose Congress candidates 
at the general elections. It will thus be seen that the conditions, necessary 
for a resort to the policy of " uniform, continuous and consistent obstruction " 
were never really fulfilled. The Swaraj Party therefore come to the conclu- 
sion that in view of the developments in the political situation and the vary- 
ing attitude of the bureaucracy, it was necessary to reconsider the situation 
as it had developed. 

Natural Evolution of a Living Programme. 

6. In May 1924 Deshbandhu C. R. Das and Pandit Motilal Nehru had 
several conferences with Mahatma Gandhi at Juhu (Bombay) as a result of 
which the well-known Juhu statements of the 22nd May 1924 were issued, 
The Swaraj Party in the Assembly met in June 1924 a'nd on the basis of 
these statements proposed certain modifications in the rules governing them 
for the sanction of the General Council of the Party. The future line of 
action chalked out in these proposals was as follows : 

" It shall be the constant aim and endeavour of the Party to secure full satisfaction 
of the National Demand ae set out in the resolution adopted by the Assembly on 
the 1 8th February 1924, and eo long as no adequate response is made by the 
Government to the said resolution, the Party shall continue to resort to a policy of 
obstruction in such form and manner as it may determine from time to time with or 
without the consent and co-operation of the other parties as circumstances may requirt." 

It will be observed that the policy of " uniform continuous and consistent 
obstruction " having been found impossible in the circumstances, " a policy 
of obstruction in such form and manner as the Party may determine from 
time to time," was recommended for adoption. The particular steps to be 
taken in the Assembly, including important constructive work, were then set 
out (vide Rules 7, 8, and 15 to 19 of the Rules for the Assembly). These 
proposals were sanctioned at a general meeting of the Party held at Calcutta 
on the 16th and 17th August 1924 and again at another general meeting 
held at Belgaum on the 27th December 1924, and a revised constitution and 
programme of the Party were issued, the material portion of which is 
reproduced in the Delhi Resolution of the A. I. C. C. quoted above. 

7. Much uninformed and at times malicious criticism has been directed 
against the developments mentioned above, but it will be evident to all fair 
and impartial minds that they represent the natural evolution of a living 
political force as, in its onward progress, it encounters new situations and 
grapples with new difficulties. While on the one hand it has kept the goal 
and the supreme sacrifice it demands steadfastly in view, it has on the other 
hand shaped its course on practical lines to suit the ever-changing conditions 
of political life. It is however unnecessary to go into this point in greater 

* detail as the Congress has adopted as its starting point the rules of the 
Swaraj Party as they stand to-day and reserved to itself the right to modify 
them " as may be found necessary from time to time." For the same reason 
it is unnecessary to encumber this manifesto with a detailed account of the 
work of the Swaraj Party in the Assembly and the Provincial Councils 
during the last three years. Some of the more important and characteristic 
features of that work in the Assembly are set out in the annezure and it 
may be stated with confidence that the Swaraj Party hai achieved phenomenal 


success under very difficult circumstances, Above all, it has thoroughly 
unmasked the bureaucratic Government and its allies and fully exposed their 

A Policy of Self-reliance and Resistance to Evil. 

8. The people of India and the constituencies of the several legisla- 
tures must have clearly realised by now that neither in the Central nor in 
the Provincial Governments have the elected representatives of the people 
any real power or responsibility which can be effectively used for the 
establishment of Swaraj or for radical reforms in the administration of the 
country. The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms stand condemned after two 
periods of Council work as a costly and futile experiment and a serious im- 
pediment to Swaraj. The Indian National Congress cannot therefore 
acquiesce in these Reforms to the extent of " working them the all they are 
worth " which can only mean the subordination of the National Demand 
for full responsible Government to a few temporary advantages of doubtful 
value which are fraught with possibilities of a general set back in the 
political development of the country. It is impossible to understand how a 
party which allows its members to accept office under the Government and 
thus become a part and parcel of the Government itself, can be trusted to 
act on the principles of "self-reliance" and " resistance to every activity ; 
governmental or other, that may impede the Nation's progress towards 
Swaraj." It is equally impossible to conceive that such a party really believes 
in Civil Disobedience or to expect that it will ever work for it. While the 
Cawnpore Congress gave the A. I. C. C. a more or less free hand in laying 
down the general lines on which the next general elections were to be run, 
it expressly provided that " the policy of non-acceptance of offices in the 
gift of the Government shall continue to be followed until, in the opinion of 
the Congress, a satisfactory response to the terms of the settlement aforesaid 
is made by the Government." This policy must therefore be taken to be 
the bed-rock on which all Congress activities in the Legislatures must be 


9. In the light of what has been stated above, the most striking 
features of the Congress programme, where it differs fundamentally from 
that of the other parties who are setting up their own candidates, may be 
stated as follows : 

(a) The general attitude of Congressmen who will enter the Legisla- 
tures, will be one of " self-reliance " and " resistance " as defined above, in 
centra-distinction to a general attitude of acquiescence and co-operation that 
will be adopted by the other parties. 

(b) In particular, Congressmen will, unless otherwise directed by the 
Working Committee, refuse supplies and throw out budgets until the Legis- 
lature is given adequate control of the latter ; while the other parties have, 
a constitutional dread of refusing supplies and will be content to take such 
part in the farce of budget discussion as the Government is pleased to allot 
to them. 

(c) In the Provinces, Congressmen will oppose to the best of their 
ability, the present mischievous system of dyarchy and resolutely refuse to 
accept office until a response to the National Demand acceptable to the Con- 
gress is made by the Government ; while the other parties will support 
dyarcby as it is, and accept office without any such response if only their 


susceptibilities (more apparent than real) are met in some way or other by 
the Government. 

A National programme inside and outside the Legislatures. 

10. The other matters with which Congressmen will concern them- 
selves are sufficiently clearly stated in the resolution of the A. I. C. C. 
already quoted. It will be observed that Articles I to IV refer specifically 
to work in the Legislatures and Articles Y to work outside them but the 
two are so interrelated that if properly carried out they are bound 
to implement and supplement each other. Together they cover a wide field 
of useful activities embracing every department of national life, social 
economical, industrial and commercial including the adjustment of relations 
between landlords and tenants, capitalists and workmen. In the work of 
promoting inter-communal unity, removal of untouchability, popularising the 
spinning wheel and Khaddar and achieving total prohibition, the return of 
the Swaraj ya Party to the Central and Provincial Legislatures will power- 
fully strengthen the hands of the Congress which is pledged to these great 
items of social and economic reform. 

Hindu Muslim Unity. 

11. There is, however, one important matter not included in the re- 
solution of the A. I. C. C. which requires special mention namely, the 
attitude of the Congress Party, on communal questions. It may generally 
be stated that the Congress party in the Legislatures, as indeed outside them, 
is pledged to stand for Nationalism and for equal rights and opportunities, 
for all communities, classes and castes, but will set its face against communal 
hatred, strife and corruption. The question of legislation affecting communal 
matters was discussed by the Working Committee of the Congress at its 
Calcutta meeting held on the 4th July 1926 and the following resolution 
was adopted : 

" The Committee is of opinion that having regard to the best interests of the country, 
no bill, motion or amendment relating to any inter-communal matter should be 
moved or discussed if a majority of three-fourths of the members of any com- 
munity affected thereby in the legislature, are opposed to the introduction or 
discussion of such a bill, motion or amendment and that the Congress Party in 
the legislature concerned should take such steps as may be possible to give effect 
to this resolution in each case." 

This resolution was a mere direction to the Congress Party to try their 
best to prevent communal questions being discussed in the Councils. But it 
gave rise to various misapprehensions and misrepresentations and was twice 
reconsidered by the Working Committee, first in Simla on the 24th August 
and again in Delhi on the llth September. On the latter date the Committee 
passed the following resolution : 

" In elucidation of its resolution No. 8 passed in Calcutta on the 4th July 1926, the 

Working Committee resolves : 

" That if their efforts as contemplated in the said resolution are not successful and 
a three-fourths majority of the members of any community of the Congress Party 
affected by such an inter-communal question consider that it should not be made 
a party question, then the Congress Party in the Legislature shall refrain from 
making it a party question. 1 ' 

The meaning is clear. No communal matter can be made a party 
question if a 3/4ths majority of either community in the Congress Party of 
the Legislature are opposed to that course* In other words* if a 3/4th 
majority of any community desire to reserve to themselves full liberty of 


speech and vote on any communal question affecting them, all the members 
of the Party belonging to both communities in the legislature concerned shall 
have the same freedom. It was presumed that a 3/4ths majority of the 
members of any community in the Party may safely be taken as reflecting 
the general opinion of that community in the country and if they can bring 
round a 3/4ths majority of the other community to their point of view the 
agreement thus arrived at should be respected by the whole Party. It may 
be observed however that this rule awaits the confirmation of the A.I.C.C. 
and the Congress, but it may be taken as a clear indication that the Congress 
Executive is fully alive to the difficulties of the communal situation and will 
do all that lies in its power not only to ease that situation but to secure to 
the Congress Party in the various legislatures an ample measure of freedom 
in dealing with communal questions. 

The Walk-out what it Really Signified, 

12. The withdrawal of Swarajist members from the legislatures in 
obedience to the mandate of the Congress has been the subject of considera- 
ble misrepresentation in the Press and on the platform. It is asserted that 
the Swarajists deserted their posts of duty and cannot be relied upon to 
keep their seats in the new legislatures when the interests of the country 
demand it. This is a gross libel on the Congress which directed their 
withdrawal from the last Assembly and the Councils in furtherence of much 
higher interests than auy that could possibly require the presence of 
Swarajists in the Legislatures. The following extract from the speech made 
by the Leader of the Party in the Assembly on the day of the withdrawal, 
puts the whole position in a nutshell. After a formidable indictment of 
the Government for its many sins of commission and omission and a reference 
to the inability of the Party to deal with it in a suitable way by reason of 
its being in a minority, he concluded his speech with these words : 

" We waited till a clear answer to our demand was forthcoming. It has now come 
clear and crisp fiom my Honourable friend the Home Member. There is no 
use for us here. We go out into the country to seek the suffrage of the electorates 
once more. We do not give up the fight. We fully agree in the sentiment con- 
tained in the statement to which 1 have just referred. They are quite apposite 
but not in the sense in which Lord Birkenhead used them. They run thus : 

" He either fears his fate too much 
Or his deserts are small ; 
Who darts not put it to the touch 
To win or lose it all." 

We have no misgivings either about our fate or our drserts, and we go forth into the 
country to put it to the touch to win or to lose it all. . . We hope and trust 
that the nation will give a suitable reply to the truculent rejection of our 
demands and will send us again in larger numbers with a stronger mandate, and, 
God willing, with the sanction for fulfuljing its aspirations and enforcing its 

After this it is for the Nation to judge who are more likely to stand by 
it in the coining struggle those who manfully came out with the resolute 
determination to enforce its commands, or those who stayed behind amidst 
official taunts and jeers and are now seeking to co-operate with those very 
officials and to serve under them. 

The Congress and the new Anti-Congress Parties. 

13. It is hardly necessary to emphasise the obvious fact that the 
parties recently started under the names of " The Kesponsivist Co-operation 


Party 11 and "The Independent Congress Party" are not In any way con- 
nected with the Congress. There is little in common between these parties 
and the Congress ; they entirely differ from the Congress on basic principles ; 
and there is an irreconcilable conflict between their programmes and that 
of the Congress. They have come into existence with the avowed object 
of opposing the Congress candidates and defeating the Congress programme. 
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has declared open war against the Swaraj 
party which means the Congress itself, as the Party is now indistinguish- 
able from the Congress. The constituencies will have to choose between 
their great National Organisation which, after weathering many a storm, 
represents the entire Indian Nation and new parties started by a few 
dissenters who have chosen to take up cudgels against the parent institution 
itself. They pay an unconscious tribute to the Swaraj Party by claiming 
to follow in its footsteps, forgetting that the Swaraj Party never for a 
moment renounced its allegiance to the Congress and contested the last 
elections only after the Congress had granted them express permission to 
do so and forbidden all opposition to their election campaign. It is hoped 
that the country will not be deceived by the thin disguise but will rally 
round the National Flag held aloft by the Congress. 

14. Parties which have no organisation worth the name and consist 
mainly of persons who are setting themselves up for election on a retrograde 
programme, can exert no influence on the general political situation in the 
country. There can be no comparison between them and the Swaraj Party, 
which began as a highly organised body within the Congress with a bold 
fighting programme. The wisdom of the great experiment inaugurated by 
the Swaraj Party has been demonstrated by the resolutions of the Cawnpore 
Congress directing the continuance of that experiment. The consequent 
absorption of the Swara] Party in the Congress has ensured the emergence 
of far more favourable conditions than those that prevailed in the last 
Councils. It constitutes a further advance in the direction of organising 
more completely the will of the nation to achieve full responsible Govern- 
ment and of bringing the Legislatures under the steady control of the great 
National Organization. The consequences which will follow are obvious. 
In the first place, there will be greater unification in the country, and work 
in the Councils and work outside them will be interrelated in a much more 
intimate and dynamic manner than was found possible during the last three 
years. In the second place, the Indian National Congress will be consider- 
ably strengthened and become even more of a real power in the land than 
it is to-day. In the third place, the concurrent will of the elected sections 
of the Legislatures and of the Congress will enable appropriate sanctions 
to be devised for the purpose of enforcing the demands made by Congress- 
men in the Legislatures in obedience to the mandates of the Congress. 
Parties which fight shy of these sanctions and pin their faith on co-operation 
with the Government cannot possibly serve the higher interests of the country. 


The Indian National Congress therefore appeals to the people and 
voters of India to realise that they can enforce the National Demand and 
vindicate national honour only by supporting and returning exclusively the 
Congress candidates at the coming general elections to the Indian Legisla- 
tive Assembly and the several Provincial Legislative Councils. 

Report of the Congress Work in 1926. 

The following is the annual report of the Congress for the year 
1926, presented by the General Secretaries to the All-India Congress 
Committee. The report was submitted to the Indian National Coir 
ress held at Gauhati in December 1926 : 

" In compliance with Art. XXIII we beg to submit the report of the work 
of the All-India Congress Committee during the year and a full account of 
the funds which have come into our hands. Since the last Congress there 
have been three meetings of the All-India Congress Committee ; at the first 
of these meetings held at Cawnpore on the 29th Deoembnr last the All-India 
Congress Committee elected 34 representatives of all the provinces except 
Aimer, who were to constitute along with the members of the Working 
Committee of the Congress a Special Committee in terms of resolution VII of 
the Cawnpore Congress. The representative of Ajmer-Merwara could not 
be elected by the All-India Congress Committee owing to the peculiar 
circumstances of that province. The President was empowered to nominate 
the representative later on, but even this it was not possible to do. At 
this meeting of the All-India Congress Committee a very important resolu- 
tion was adopted whereby the Working Committee was asked to appoint a 
sub-committee for the purpose of collecting and distributing funds for the 
relief of political sufferers, prisoners, exiles and their families. The 
Working Committee which met in Delhi on the 5th March 1925, accor- 
dingly appointed the Political Sufferers' Sub-Committee. Financial help 
has been given to two political sufferers, namely, Andhraratna Gopala- 
krishnayya (Andhra) and Swami Kumaranand (Ajmer) out of the funds 
earmarked for the purpose. An allowance at the rate of Rs. 20 per 
mensem was also sanctioned out of the Punjab Belief Fund for the family of 
Pandit Jagat Earn of the Paniab (in jail) for a period of one year, In addit- 
ion to these, relief was also provided out of the Punjab Relief Fund to the 
family of Bhai Bhagwan Singh and to Swami Gajanand Azad of the Punjab. 
The Treasurer has since been asked to debit these amounts to the Political 
Sufferers' Fund. 

11 2. The second meeting of the All-India Congress Committee during 
the year under report was held at Delhi on the 6th and 7th March, 1926. At 
this meeting the Committee framed the programme of work to be carried out 
by the Swarajya Party and the Congress organizations in co-operation with 
each other throughout the country in accordance with resolution VII of the 
Cawnpore Congress which for the first time since the inauguration of the 
Reforms, permitted the employment of the whole of the machinery and 
general funds of the Congress for the purpose of taking up and carrying on 
all necessary political work and which required that the Congress do run 
candidates for the then forthcoming general elections to the legislatures of the 
country. The Committee issued detailed instructions to be followed by Con- 
gress Committees and Congressmen in regard to these general elections and 
also settled the form of election pledge to be signed by every Congress 

" 3. The most important decision taken by the Committee at this 
meeting was its adoption of the Special Committee's opinion that the 


Government had failed to accede to the National Demand for reforms made by 
the Assembly, and its acceptance of the Special Committee's recommendation 
that the " Swarajya Party in the Central and Provincial legislatures do now 
take the steps laid down in Resolution VII (b) (iii) 1 and 2 passed by the 
Congress at its Cawnpore session. 

The Walk-out. 

" 4. The All-India Congress Committee also called upon the Swarajist 
members in the Assembly not to wait till the Finance Bill came up for con- 
sideration, but to leave their seats after raising the constitutional issue once 
again on the 8th March when the first demand for grants would be moved. 
The Swarajist members of the Council of State, the Legislative Assembly and 
several local Councils in session at the time accordingly made that famous 
demonstration on the 8th March which has since come to be known as the 
" Walk-out." The All-India Congress Committee, however, made an excep- 
tion in the case of the Swarajya Party in the C. P. Council and called upon 
them to attend the Council to throw out the provincial budget including the 
salaries of Ministers, in pursuance of Resolution VII (b) (iii) 2. Much un- 
fair criticism was indulged in in some quarters about the action of Swarajist 
members of the Assembly and a few local councils in going back for some 
special or unforeseen purposes ; but these critics apparently ignore the specific 
instructions contained in the proviso under section 2 of resolution VII (b) 
(iii) adopted by the Congress at Cawnpore which clearly lays down " that 
it shall be open to the special committee to allow the Swarajist members of 
any legislature to attend the said legislature when such attendance is in iti 
opinion essential for some special or unforeseen purpose/ 1 

" 5. The All-India Congress Committee also allotted at Delhi a sum of 
Rg. 25,000 for the initial expenses of the necessary propaganda and other 
work in connection with the general elections. An account of the expenditure 
incurred out of this allotment duly audited up to the 20th September is being 
enclosed herewith. 

" 6. A resolution was adopted by the All-India Congress Committee at 
this meeting asking the Provincial Congress Committees to organise branches 
of the Hindustani Seva Dal and to appoint whole-time permanent workers for 
carrying on the work outlined by the Dal in their respective areas. A grant 
of Rs. 2,000 was also sanctioned to the Dal by the Working Committee at 

11 7. The report of the Bodh Gaya Temple Enquiry Committee was sub- 
mitted to the All-India Congress Committee at this meeting and the recom- 
mendations contained in the report were accepted by the latter Committee. 

" 8. The third and last meeting of the All-India Congress Committee 
was called at Ahmedabad to consider what was known as the Sabarmati Pact. 
But the question of the pact did not actully come before the All-India Con- 
gress Committee as it had fallen through in the Working Committee on 
account of differences of opinion among the signatories about the interpreta- 
tion of the terms of the pact. 

Hindu-Muslim Relations. 

" 9. The Hindu-Muslim relations unfortunately continued during the 
year to be far from cordial, although communal outbreaks were not so 
widespread as in 1924. In Bengal, however, very serious Hindu-Muslim riots 
occurred in some places, particularly in Calcutta where during several weeks 



it teemed as though ordered government was at an end and the . authorities 
responsible for law and order miserably failed to maintain peace. The All- 
India and the Working Committee have made earnest attempts to foster 
feelings of friendship and goodwill between the two communities. At the 
instance of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Working Committee which met 
in Calcutta on the 4th July, 1926 resolved on the establishment of a per- 
manent publicity bureau with a view to educating the masses of India out 
of communal conflicts and differences and developing a sound national life, 
and authorised Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu and Pandit 
Motilal Nehru to take necessary steps in this behalf and organise the bureau. 
The President Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, visited Pabna, another place in Bengal 
where serious Hindu-Moslem outbreaks occurred in July, and fis. 1,000 were 
voted for the relief of sufferers there. 

Selection of Candidates. 

"10, One of the principal matters to which the Working Committee 
and the office-bearers had to devote a good deal of attention and effort during 
the year was the running of candidates by and in the name of the Congress 
in the general elections to the several legislatures, that have just ended in all 
the provinces. The work involved, besides frequent meetings of the Work- 
ing Committee, a good deal of discussion and decision by correspondence and 
long and frequent tours on the part of the executive. Although the amount 
placed at the disposal of the Working Committee for publicity and propa- 
ganda was small, the political and educative work that has been carried out 
by the central and provincial Congress organisations throughout the country 
and among the masses has been valuable and fruitful. At the date of writing 
this report, the full results of the elections from all the provinces are not 
available, and it is too soon to sum up the general position of the Congress 
parties in the several provinces. But it may be safely stated that whatever 
might be the relative strength of frankly communal and anti-Congress groups, 
whatever might be the dividing line between those who stood by the Congress 
programme and those who, though belonging to the Congress, opposed the 
success of that programme and its exponents in the elections, the country has 
unmistakably accepted the Congress as the one and only institution by and 
through which all Indians, to whatever community they may belong, can 
achieve Swaraj. In four provinces particularly, Congressmen have been 
returned by the electorates in large numbers, namely, Assam, Behar, Bengal 
and Madras. 

"11. In this connection it is specially worthy of note that both the 
Bengal detenues in the Mandalay jail set up by the Congress, Syt. Subhas 
Chandra Bose and Syt. Satyendra Chandra Mitra, have been returned at 
the recent general elections. Syt. Subhas Chandra Bose has been elected 
to the Bengal Legislative Council by an overwhelming majority and Syt. 
Satyendra Chandra Mitra to the Legislative Assembly unopposed. It would 
be difficult to find a more convincing condemnation of the obstinate and 
oppressive policy of the bureaucracy in respect of the detenues. 

Enrolment of Members. 

"12. It is gratifying to find that in spite of their preoccupation with 
the Congress election campaign the Provincial Committees have been able 
to carry on vigorously general Congress work including the enlistment of 
Congress members. Information has not been received from all the pro- 


vinces at the time of writing, but so far as the reports received go, it would 
appear that in Bombay 4,933 members are on the Congress rolls besides 
103 on the All India Spinners' Association, out of whom 33 have enlisted 
themselves also as Congress members. It Carnatak the membership figure 
has risen to 14,278. In C. P. Hindustani 3,676 Congress members have 
been registered this year. In Gujarat 651 persons have been enrolled, of 
whom 338 have come in under the yarn franchise. 

" 13. The All India Spinners' Association has on its rolls 3,472 members 
of class A, 942 of B and 48 associates. It is specially gratifying to note 
that besides these, some juveniles have been subscribing yarn. In all. 2,708 
Ibs. of yarn are reported to have been received by the All India Spinners 1 


" 14. The enclosed statement of T. S. F. accounts for the year show that 
the opening balance with the Treasurer amounted on the 1st December, 1925 
to Es. 1,74,606-1-11. His closing balance on the 30th September, 1926 was 
Bs. 1,44,797-13-10 including Es. 39,729-3-0 earmarked funds. It will be 
evident from these figures that the funds at the disposal of the All India 
Congress Committee are rapidly diminishing. It is urged that prompt and 
effective steps should be taken to place the central organisation of the 
Congress in a permanently sound financial position. The fund needed for 
an investment that will leave the All India Congress Secretariat free from 
anxiety as to its normal existence and functions, is by no means large and 
the attention of the All India Congress Committee is invited to this vital 
matter in the hope that proper steps will have been taken in this behalf 
before the Gauhati Congress disperses. The delegates' fee must at all events 
be raised to the old figure of Es. 10, to enable the All India Congress Com- 
mittee to have the usual income from its share of the delegation fees. 

" 15. The realizations made by the All India Congress Committee 
during the year did not amount to much ; neither has the position of out 
standings aa printed last year improved, most of them being bad debts. 
The assets too remain practically the same as last year's except for the 
addition of a few articles of furniture which bad to be purchased in Madras 
in view of the transfer of the office from Allahabad. 

" 16. The Secretaries desire to record in this report their appreciation 
of the devoted and loyal work of the Under-Secretary, Mr, Raja Rao and the 
staff during a busy and trying year. Mr. Eaghupati Sahai, the other 
Under-Secretary, was lent to the United Provinces Congress Committee for 
important work in connection with the general elections in that province. 

M. A. Ansari. 
E. Santanam. 
A. Eangaswami lyengar. 

[Mr. A. Eangaswami lyengar, has been the Working Secretary for the 
year and much of the success of the Congress in the general elections hai 
been due to his unremitting and devoted work. 

M, A. Ansari. 

K, Santanam,] 

Report of the All-India Spinners' Association. 

" A consideration of the present state of Ehadi work and a comparison 
with what it was in 1921 or 1922 will convince anyone that the remark that 
it some time heard that Ehadi has been steadily on the wane since the 
years 1921 and 1922, is nothing but a superficial observation, based upon 
the fact that there is now less of that spectacular show of white caps than 
we had in 1921, Not only is there a greater quantity of Khadi produced 
but there is also a wider field of operations/' says the annual report of the 
All-India Spinners' Association which was organised in September 1925, as 
an integral part of the Congress under Mahatma Gandhi's presidency. 

By the end of December the Association submitted its report to the 
Congress for 1925-26. The report is a most business-like document and gives 
a clear exposition of its work with the figures which speak for themselves. 
It is claimed by the report that the progress has been so marked and encourag- 
ing that while in 1922-23, provinces like Bengal and Gujerat depended 
for Khadi to a large extent on Andhra, Tamil Nadu and the Punjab, to-day 
Bengal has a production of over four and half lakhs, Gujerat of nearly one 
lakh, while the provinces which were supplying Khadi to these provinces 
have not only not decreased their production but in some cases have even 
made considerable progress. 

Activities of Association. 

Before summing up the future outlook in an interesting note, the 
report chronicles in a comprehensive and yet very concise manner the various 
activities of the Spinners' Association. The Association, it recalls, was 
started for centralising Khadi work in the country under the guidance of an 
expert organisation " un-affected and uncontrolled by politics." There 
are now over six hundred workers in the central office and several subor- 
dinate and affiliated organisations. Besides a scheme for securing trained 
and expert workers has been framed. 

As regards the financial position the most important source of income 
was Es. 2,23,600 from Deshbandhu Memorial Fund which the trustees of 
the fund by a resolution transferred to the Spinners' Association. The 
second source was a grant of Rs. 50,000 by Seth Jamnalal Bajaj for Khadi 
work in Rajputana. Donations and Association's associate fees brought in 
additional 2,778-9-0. 

Eesources of the Association were not found sufficient to meet the 
growing need of capital for work. Details are given of disbursements, 
investments in work in various provinces, the largest disbursement being 
made to Bihar, Calcutta and Tamil Nadu, namely half lakh each. 

Progress of Work. 

Reviewing the progress of work the report observes that Bengal and 
Behar nearly doubled its production and sales to Rs. 453,378 and 224,690 
respectively. Tamil Nadu's efforts were mainly to increase the consumption 
of its goods. U. P. showed considerable improvement. Punjab largely 
added to its own production, though sales did not keep pace with the progress 
in production. Ajmere has been organised and production work been re- 
cently started in Assam. Karnatak was mainly engaged systematising its 
work, so also Andhra. Gujerat working its own funds very largely increased 


its production, its biggest centre being Amreli. Utkal shows notable improve- 
ment and so also Maharashtra. The total figures for all provinces show 
production having gone up compared with the last year from Bs. 1,903,034 
to Rs. 2,376,670. There was thus a general progress, and in money value 
there was an increase of twenty-five percent over the last year while if the 
general fall of seven to eight percent in Khadi prices were calculated, an 
increase by yardage was nearly thirty two percent. The report then shows 
how efforts to increase the local sales have succeeded through the special 
propaganda, publicity, exhibition work and by hawking and bounty schemes. 
Mr. Bharucha's services in this connection with the disposal of stocks are 
particularly mentioned. 

More instructive than the figures of production and sale, says the report, 
is the information relating to the human side of the work. It has been 
ascertained by Mahatma Gandhi that 110 carders, 42,959 spinners and 3,407 
weavers are supported by the Khadi production centres in the country. 

Wide ramifications of the Khadi activity are also seen from the fact 
that there are now over 150 production centres, spread all over the country 
and on modest computations, the Khadi organisations must be reaching 1,500 
villages. The report mentions with particular satisfaction that an im- 
provement in the quality of Khadi is such that while Khadi produced in 1921 
and even in 1922 "could be used only by the Khadi enthusiasts, to-day 
Khadi can supply patterns and varieties that will suit the most fastidious 
taste. The Khadi organisaton everywhere are trying to study the needs and 
satisfy the tastes of their markets. 1 ' 

Khadi Pratisthan in Bengal and Tamil Nadu Khadi depots were doing 
particularly good work in this direction. But while remarkable progress 
has been recorded in both Quality and quantity to Kbadi produce since the 
movement began, the price of Khadi had fallen considerably, due partly to 
a fall in the price of cotton and some other factors in the cost of production. 

Improvement of Yarn. 

The report lays emphasis on the need for improvement in the quality 
of yarn. Whatever be their superiority in days gone by, handspun yarn 
to-day did not compare favourably with the mill yarn neither as regards 
the strength or uniformity. Experiment at Sabarmati Ashram has shown 
that yarn of mill quality can be produced with properly carded cotton and 
careful spinning and with greater attention the provinces can show appreci- 
able results. 

As regards the membership " A '' class, consisting of those who habi- 
tually wear Khaddar and supply every month a thousand yards of self-spun 
yarn, increased by 3,472, while " B " class of those who habitually wear 
Khaddar and supply thousand yards of yarn (not necessarily self-spun) 
increased by 942. Besides these " C " class of juvenile members was created 
of those who would supply self-spun thousand yards yarn and 185 members 
were enrolled. 

The report next comments on the idea of voluntary spinning and 
individual self-sufficiency in cloth. Among the instances quoted is that of 
Bijolia, a centre in uparmal area in Rajasthan. This area has a population of 
1100 and with 10 yards annual requirements per head would require 110000 
yards. As a result of intensive propaganda for self-spinning, even men had 
taken to spinning. Now 65 looms were working in the area full time and 
780000 yards of cloth were produced. If 30 more loomi could be added the 


area would become wholly self-supporting in its cloth requirements. The 
achievement was notable, all the more as there was no inducement by way of 
bounty or otherwise. 

Then the activities of the technical department are enumerated, students 
are trained in carding, spinning, dyeing etc ; exhibitions are organized and 
research and improvement in implements undertaken and invention of simple 
mechanical contrivances encouraged in respect of gins, carding, bows, taklis 
and spinning wheels. 

Dr. H. Mann, director of agriculture, the report acknowledgesi helped 
them in getting samples of cotton from the Government farms. Cloth was 
examined by the technical section to determine the genuineness and in all, 115 
samples of doubtful " Ehadi " were received, whereof 53 were found to be 

The report draws pointed attention to the increasing interest, taken by 
the local bodies. Fourteen municipalities, nine district boards and four taluk 
boards are named as having introduced spinning in schools under their 
control in various parts of the country, while seven Municipalities, namely 
Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Benares and Bombay, are named as having resolved 
to encourage " Khadi *' by purchasing for the Municipal purposes and uni- 
forms of employees as also seven other district boards in different parts of 
the country. Eight municipalities are stated to have reduced or abolished 
octroi on "Khadi." 

Future Outlook. 

Summing up their work and future outlook, the report remarks, that 
the history of the five years of " Khadi " movement since the inception gives 
sufficient ground for encouragement and hope. Importance of hands pinning 
as a means of adding to the scanty income of agriculturists in the villages, is 
being more and more recognised in all quarters. The interest taken by the 
local bodies shows signs of growing recognition of " Khadi/' This growing 
interest is not confined only to the British India. Indian States have begun 
to interest themselves in the matter. The Cochin State in South India, it is 
stated, has introduced spinning in about 60 of their schools with marked 
success. Efforts are now being made by the Mysore Government to reinstate 
Charka in the homes of the poor. All this constitutes another welcome sign 
of the ground that "Khadi" movement is gaining in public opinion. But 
the industry is still on its early stages and if Charka is in any measurable 
future to take its .proper place in the economy of India's national life, it is 
necessary that the movement should receive the widest and strongest support 
of the country. 

Khadi work needs all the capital that the country can place at its dis- 
posal. The Association's financial position has got to be strengthened, if it 
is to extend to any appreciable extent its activities in the coming year. There 
is need for an effective realization by the people of their duty, both from the 
patriotic and humanitarian point of view to consume the " Kadhi " goods as 
fast as they are produced. But more important than all this is the duty of 
the educated classes to create and foster by their example the atmosphere of 
spinning and " Khadi " in every part of the country. It is primarily with 
this object the membership of the association is devised. To a large extent, 
fulfilment of these conditions depends on the patriotism and devotion to the, 
oause of workers, already in the field. If these conditions are realised to 

appreciable degree, achievement of the goal will not be far distant. 

India in Home P'olity 

A Resume of Main Events. 

In domestic politics, the year 1926 was marked by the rapid strengthening 
of the reactionary forces which, in the latter period of Lord Reading's regime, 
had begun to make themselves felt. The Indian National Congress saw which 
way events were tending and decided at its session at Cawnpore in Decem- 
ber 1925, to give open battle to Lord Readings policy, nominally of 
masterly inactivity, but really of the slow suffocation of whatever political 
and other liberties the country possessed. It passed a resolution that if the 
Government did not make a response to the National demand, satisfactory 
in the opinion of the Working Committee, Congressmen in the legislatures 
should walk out of those bodies. When early in the year the Assembly 
met, Sir Alexander Muddiman clearly hinted that the Government were not 
prepared to treat the Demand seriously. The result was that the Swarajists 
were obliged to walk out of the legislatures, reserving to themselves the 
right to attend them as occasion arose for it in the opinion of the party. 

The walk-out made a deep impression on the country. It showed that 
the word of the Congress was the law with the vast majority of the people. 
It, however, led to one or two immediate results. In the first place, it 
made the position of the Government supreme in the legislatures and this 
position they exploited to the fullest extent. The record of the Assembly 
after the Swarajists walked out of them proves this fact. Perhaps the only 
popular achievement which the Assembly was able to effect after the 
walk-out was the rejection of the Lee Commission's concessions to the 
Railway officials. The Finance Bill was passed " in silence "'; and whenever 
the Independents sought to improve its provisions, they sustained very heavy 
defeats. A number of reactionary legislative measures were put through 
without the least compunction. The Contempt of Courts Bill, a measure 
fraught with serious consequences to the Press of the country ; the Criminal 
Procedure Code (Section 109 Amendment) Bill calculated to enable the 
magistracy to award sentences of rigorous imprisonment for alleged seditious 
utterances, a tyrannical weapon in the hands of the Executive ; the 
Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Bill empowering the executive to 
confiscate leaflets which, in its opinion, were calculated to inflame communal 
feelings these and similar unpopular measures were passed in the teeth of 
the futile opposition of the Independents. 

At the same time, the Executive Government showed a contempt for 
public opinion rarely known during the past some years. India was made 
a party to the Locarno Pact without her consent, entailing indeterminate 
expenditure ; all the Assembly's efforts to ascertain the extent of her com- 
mitments were brushed aside on the ground that it was not competent to 
discuss such subjects. The Government refused to Indianise the Railway 
Board and the higher grades of the Railway services. They ignored the 
recommendations of the Mercantile Marine Committee. The proposals and 
the promises to Indianise the Army and to extend the territorial system 


were held up. The freedom of the provinces was encroached upon by ad- 
ministrative instructions, by the misuse of the previous sanction rules, by 
the right to scrutiny the financial effects of provincial schemes, and by the 
assertion of the claim to impose higher administrative heads on the provinces 
in the guise of protecting the rights of the superior services and by the 
framing of rules under the Government of India Act. Some of these rules 
made serious inroads into the rights of the provincial and central legislatures, 
such rights as those pertaining to the right of discussion. But the Govern- 
ment did not shrink from framing them. Above all, the authorities openly 
proclaimed in as defiant a manner as possible that they were not going to 
concede the demands of the public. Lord Birkenhead even went to the 
length of stating that unless India showed her competence to the satisfaction, 
not of the British Parliament only, but of the Empire statesmen whom he 
proposed to nominate to the Statutory Commission, no extension of reforms 
was to be made. The offer of a toy " Navy " and one or two Commissions 
of Enquiry such as the Agricultural Commission was no compensation for the 
reactionary acts. 

Political Factions. 

One of the results of the walk-out has been that certain Congressmen 
who had become tired of the obstructionist policy and hopeful of accomplish- 
ing more tangible results seceded from the ranks of the Swarajists. They 
held the view that in as much as it had become impossible, except in one or 
two provinces and that for temporary periods, to prevent the formation of 
Ministries, the Congress should revise its policy and adopt " responsive co- 
operation, 1 ' by which it was meant that Congressmen should boldly accept 
office and work the Reforms to what end it was not always made clear. 
Some said it was to destroy diarchy from within, others held it was to work 
it for what it was worth. Their experience in the Assembly after the 
Swarajist walk-out must have shown them that, without unity, it was impossi- 
ble to achieve anything, but they were far too much obsessed with the idea 
of responsive co-operation that they were determined to try it, be the results 
what they may. The decision of Mahatma Gandhi to keep himself aloof 
from the politics of the country throughout the year was felt as unfortunate 
at no time more deeply than when this tendency towards drift towards 
fissiparous politics asserted itself. The Mahatma was appealed to and, with 
his good offices, an agreement was arrived at between the Swarajists and 
the Responsive Co-operators the term by which the seceders from the 
Swarajist ranks became known by which acceptance of offices was to be 
decided on if the legislators of the province felt that the local Government 
of the province concerned had made a satisfactory response to popular feeling 
and if their decision was ratified by two representatives of the All-India Con- 
gress Committee. This Pact the Sabarmati Pact was, however, thrown 
out by the All-India Congress Committee and both these wings of the 
Swarajists decided to fight the approaching general elections on their own 
separate tickets. 

The Rise of Sectarianism. 

Nothing has been more unfortunate in connection with this cleavage 
among Congressmen than one of its results, namely, the appeal to communal 
sentiment The Responsivists realised that, without some appeal to the 
masses they had no chance against the Swarajists. Some of them also were 


men who felt that the Congress had been neglecting Hindu interests, The 
formation of communal Ministries in more provinces than one and the efforts 
in working the reforms through Muslim Ministries supported by the official 
and the nominated block, and the activities of these Ministries which Hindus 
felt were not dealing fairly and squarely with Hindu interests all these 
facts had roused the fears of the Hindus, especially in the Punjab, in Bengal, 
and in Bombay. The appeal was made by the Responsivists to the Hindu 
sentiment and that appeal not a little succeeded in the Punjab and 
the United Provinces. There was acute Hindu discontent regarding the 
way in which the executive handled the problem of processions and music 
before mosques. It was complained that the police and the magistracy 
yielded to Muslim clamour and set at naught Hindu rights proclaimed in 
courts by resort to the use of the preventive sections of the Criminal Pro- 
cedure Code. This deepening of communal feeling led to much bloodshed. 
Heavy rioting, prolonged for days, broke out in Calcutta and there were 
minor outbreaks in the United Provinces. The depression . in trade and 
acute unemployment pre/alent everywhere also contributed to communal 
friction. The cruel assassination of Swami Shraddhananda by a Mahomedan 
fanatic on the eve of the Gauhati Congress was the culmination of this 
communal ill-will. 

General Elections. 

No wonder in the general elections towards the end of the year com- 
munal sympathies and antipathies were fully exploited. The Brahmin-non- 
Brahmin problem in South India was different from the Hindu-Muslim problem 
elsewhere. The vitality of the non-Brahmin movement at its inception lay 
in the fact that it began as a liberalising, democratic movement, calculated 
to secure equal opportunities for all. Its degeneration into an anti-Brahmin 
movement, the exploitation of it by a coterie of leaders to the benefit of 
their followers, and of the disrepute into which it has fallen in consequence 
are facts too well-known to need reiteration. The dangers of narrow oom- 
munalism are now realised even by the bureaucracy under whose protecting 
wings it developed, and by the electorate at large ; and, despite the refusal 
of the leaders to give it a satisfactory direction, it is to be hoped that in 
course of time they will be driven to the necessity of recognising the folly 
of their anti-Brahmin, narrow programme. In the other provinces, commu- 
nalism has asserted itself in varying degrees. In the United Provinces 
and the Punjab and in Delhi, its success has been the greatest ; in the Central 
Provinces, it has had a marked effect ; while in Bengal, though its effect 
has not been so striking, it has yet left its impress. 

In spite of these facts, the Congress has been able to score a considerable 
victory at the elections. In Bengal and in Madras, the Congress has 
triumphed beyond expectation and holds as strong a position in the legisla- 
tures as non-officials could hope to do under a diarohio constitution. In 
other provinces, Congressmen constitute the largest single party. The country 
has thus shown that its sympathies are entirely with the Congress. The 
success of the khaddar programme which the All-India Spinners' Association 
has achieved also shows that the nation is not unmindful of the wishes of 
the Congress, so that in the coming year it may be expected to give even 
greater support to the Congress than it has done in the past. (Vide The 


The Bengal Responsivist Party] 

Nucleus Formed. 

On the 23rd June a meeting was held at 237 Lower Circular Road, 
Calcutta to organise a party within the Congress which would work the 
Responsive Co-operation programme. Mr. B. Chakravarti presided and 
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, the All-India leader of this party, was 
present on the occasion and impressed upon those present the need o! 
having the Responsive Co-operation Party within the Congress in Bengal. 
It was resolved, that the gentlemen present form an organisation to be called 
the Responsive Co-operation Party in Bengal upon enlisting as members 
of Congress and upon accepting the programme of Responsive Co-operation. 

Pt. Malaviya's Address. 

On the 29th June Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya delivered a speech on 
Responsive Co-operation before a crowded meeting at the University Hall 
lasting for about 2 hours and discussed at great length the present situation, 
both political and economic, with particular reference to the state of serious 
unemployment in Bengal. The meeting was very orderly, and patient hear- 
ing was accorded. Mr. I. B. Sen, Barrister-at-Law presided. 

History of the Congress. 

Pandit Malaviya said that he was going to speak on the subject on which 
opinion was divided, but they should try to look facts and consider the 
position as they were serving the motherland. He condemned those who 
oast a fling at each other. He next traced the history of the Indian National 
Congress since 1885. It was established, he said, with the object of securing 
responsible Government in India which moant, the Government of the people* 
by the people and for the people in the real sense of the term. In the second 
year, he said, they prepared a scheme and presented it to Parliament and a 
Bill was also introduced to that effect. In 1905 Mr. Gokhale presided over 
the Benares Congress and subsequently went to England on deputation and 
saw the Secretary of State. During that time he said, some of the officials 
wanted great trouble among Hindus and Mahomedans, as before that date no 
communal representation was ever advocated in the Congress. In 1908 
when it was understood that some reforms were coming, some Mahomedan 
gentlemen went on a deputation to H. E. the Viceroy asking for this and that 
and that was how the communal representation was introduced. In 1909 the 
Government passed the Minto Morley Reforms and that was the second step 
in the direction of responsible Government. In this connection the Pandit 
referred in glorious terms to the ancient civilisation of India and said that 
even now many Native Princes were ruling over big territories. In 1924 the 
Congress passed a resolution urging that India should be placed on a footing 
of equality with self governing colonies. After the reforms were introduced, 
the Congress passed a resolution characterising it as inadequate, unsatis- 
factory and disappointing and since then disunion in the Congress began and 
that was subsisting even now. 

The Reforms. 

He then made mention of the work of the Muddiman Committee and 
said that even the Ministers had condemned dyarchy as unworkable and there 


was DO divided opinion among Indians on that subject. The system of 
dyarchy had failed. This measure of responsible Government was obtained 
as a result of the agitation conducted by the Indian National Congress and 
the Muslim League. But he affirmed that the present situation was to be 
faced and stated that the reforms were still working. Parliament laid that 
they should be judges of the time. He regarded this as an insult to the 
Indians as they had four thousand years' civilisation behind them. The Con- 
gress held in Delhi declared in no uncertain terms, their fitness for responsi- 
ble Government, but in the Amritsar'Congress a compromise was arrived at 
to work the Keforms Act and Messrs. B. G. Tilak and C. K. Das were party 
to it. They had since then seen six years of the working of reforms were 
unsatisfactory. But, again, they were faced with another division, namely, 
some who were for working the Reforms and others who were for total 
obstruction. In the first term of the Council many people boycotted them 
but subsequently Pandit Motilal and C. E. Das came to the conclusion that 
the policy of boycott was wrong and after the Gaya Congress, Mr. Das 
started the Swarajya party. 

Swarajist Policy. 

The speaker after tracing the career of the Swaraj Party said that except 
in the Central Provinces and Bengal their policy had achieved no result. On 
the contrary they were more and more divided now than before. At Faridpur 
Mr. Das offered terms of settlement and wanted a change of heart on the 
part of the bureaucracy. But he did not want full Swarai to be established 
at once. Those terms were clear and in all his utterances he expressed and 
hoped that negotiations would begin and some settlement would be reached 
but the cruel hand of death removed him at the time when they required 
him most. Since then the Swarai party has been deprived of their leader 
and at present it was more divided than before in almost all provinces. It 
did not possess the same strength as it had once during the previous election. 
He feared that at the next election, owing to disunion, the party would not be 
able to achieve the same result as it had done before. He particularly 
mentioned that he did not come to blame any party, but its policy had 
brought criticism from the public, particularly the policy of walk-out from 
the Council which was adopted by a resolution of the Cawnpore Congress. 
The speaker protested against that resolution then, but he was outvoted. 
He thought he did his duty though his amendment was rejected. 

Walk Out. 

After analysing the reasons which deterred Mr. Patel, from resigning 
the Presidentship of the Legislative Assembly and criticising Pandit Motilal's 
action regarding the resignation of membership of the Skeen Committee, 
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya criticised the Cawnpore resolution at great 
length, particularly the action of the Swaraj Party in Bengal, in connection 
with the Security Bill. He considered the " Walk-out " had caused much 
suffering to the country. He emphasised that the Government machinery 
was going on as before and said that Englishmen were never afraid of bombs 
as much as they were of public opinion. 

The Pact. 

Begarding the pact he said Mr. Das never thought it a sacrosanct docu- 
ment. He put it only as a suggestion to be considered by the Congress, 
Now the position was that even the Mahomedaoa disowned it. 


The Present Position. 

Considering the present position he said, there were now about half a 
dozen parties. In his opinion what was required was to put aside all 
differences and work in a spirit of service for motherland. With that end 
in view they should sit together and devise means of settlement. He wanted 
a clear cut programme and policy, but the Swarajists had not yet put forward 
any new manifesto up till now about their policy in the new Council. He 
thought that the country was not yet prepared for nonpayment of taxes, 
but he wanted to prepare the country even ultimately for open war and he 
said that it was permissible to write to the Government and say that unless 
they gave us responsible Government they would declare open war but at 
present they were not in a position to do that. 

In this connection he feelingly referred to the serious economic state of 
the country as a result of Government policy on exchange and gold reserve 
in England. The serious state of unemployment in Bengal had brought 
almost starvation to hundreds of men. 

Acceptance of Office. 

After referring to the question of acceptance of Ministersbip on certain 
conditions by Mr. B. Chakravarti to which Deshbandhu Das gave his 
support, he appealed to them to follow the policy of Mr. Das namely co- 
operation when necessary and absolute downright obstruction when occasion 
demanded it. He asked them to work the reforms to its fullest extent. 

The Party's Manifesto. 

On the 23rd July the Responsive Co-operation Party in Bengal issued a 
manifesto in the course of which, after explaining their creed, they stated that, 
" in the present circumstances of disintegrated and disunited political life, it 
has been thought expedient to bring together in one group as many men and 
women as possible who are of one mind as to the essentials and who are, 
nevertheless, ready and willing to be members of the Congress. It is not 
the object of the party to wreck the Congress or to bring about a deadlock 
within the Congress. The party, however, reserves to itself the right to 
work for the alteration of the programme which the Congress may have 
adopted for the time being and even to work for the alteration of the condi- 
tions of its membership, provided that the proposed alterations do not 
violate the fundamental creed of the Congress. It will be realised that in 
view of the reformed Councils and the Assembly, the position of the Indian 
National Congress has undergone and will undergo serious transformation. 
In the nature of things, the position of the Congress, in its bearing on the 
political life of the country, cannot be a fixed one for some years to come. 
Already, since the introduction of the Reforms of 1919, the Congress baa 
undergone more than one serious transformation and yet it would be unwise 
to be indifferent to the future of this national political institution or to let 
it degenerate into a permanent party caucus ". 

Declaration of their Faith. 

Proceeding to a declaration of their faith, they stated : " (l) We believe 
that a mass movement of resistance throughout the country is certainly one of 
the means of enforcing the will of the nation in political matters, but it is an 
ultimate remedy and we agree with the Congress, that the country ia not at 


present ready for any measure of this nature. (2) We believe, however, that a 
movement of organised individual or group resistance to authority is feasible 
and may be resorted to, as occasions may demand for a particular locality for 
definite objects and particular occasions. (3) We believe that no programme 
of bringing about constitutional deadlocks by resorting to the policy of uni- 
form, continuous and consistent obstruction can be successful unless tried 
on a large scale and backed by some sanction behind the same. (4) We believe 
that the best course, under the present circumstances, is that of responsive 
co-operation which means working the Reforms, unsatisfactory, disappoint- 
ing and inadequate as they are, for all they are worth and using the same 
for accelerating the grant of full responsible government and also for creating 
in the meanwhile, opportunities for the people for advancing their interests 
and strengthening their power and resistance to injustice and misrule. (5) We 
however, hereby declare that our working of the Reforms does not imply 
in any way that we give up any position or surrender any objection or make 
any commitment with regard to the grave defects and inadequacies of the 
present Government of India Act in general (including the preamble) or the 
diarchy in particular. (6) The policy of working the Reforms necessarily in- 
cludes the capture of all places of power, responsibility and initiative, which 
are open to election by or are otherwise responsible to the party within the 
Legislature, subject to such conditions with regard to the policy, programme 
and other kindred matters as may seem desirable to impose from time to time ' 

The Bengal Situation. 

Turning to the situation in Bengal, they declared : " In Bengal, it would 
be a deliberate and pretended blindness now to ignore altogether the Hindu- 
Muslim question. The Responsive Co-operation Party of Bengal is a political 
party of the Congress, but it is not opposed to the Hindu Sangathan or the 
Tanzeem movement, so long as they are kept within very strict limits. The 
party will not countenance communalism, but it will encourage the growth 
of the Hindu organisation and of the Muslim organisation on a national, as 
distinguished from a communal basis. To surrender absolutely all political, 
social or religious rights and privileges that are essential to the growth of 
the Hindus and the Muslims as ft modern living nation which is in the course 
of formation, is not the means of cementing Hindu-Muslim friendship, and 
any understanding between the Hindus and the Muslims cannot ignore either 
their constitutional rights or the administrative, executive or legislative 
policy of the Government in relation to the religious, social and political 
rights of the Hindus and the Muslims. Any pact, provincial and national, 
which ignores either the existing state or such rights of the component parts 
of the nation, must necessarily be futile ". 

The Party Conference at Calcutta, 

On the 28th August a Conference of the Responsive Co-operation Party 
was held at the Indian Association Hall, Calcutta. There was a large 
attendance of gentlemen from almost all districts of Bengal. Presiding 
over the Conference Mr. B. Chakravarty said : 

Gentlemen, OD behalf of the Responsive Co-operation Party of Bengal 1 offer you 
a hearty welcome to this Conference. The object for which we have met this evening 
to to decide on a programme for thia party and to consider what step* we are to take 


to contest the forthcoming elections to the Legislative Assembly and the Bengal Legis- 
lative Council in the interest of the Responsive Co-operation Party and in the interests 
of the country. 

Meaning of Responsive Co-operation. 

Without being desirous of forestalling your decision in any way, I bep, gentlemen, 
to be allowed to place before you the main idea with which this party has been started 
in Bengal. This party is, first of all, a paity within the Congress : none but members 
of the Indian National Congress are eligible to become its members. The aim of the 
party, as of all other parties in this country, is the attainment of Swaraj by peaceful 
legitimate means. To this creed the Responsive Co-operators whole-heartedly subscribe : 
and it is their distinctive claim that they recogni7,e no other f< tiers on their discretion 
in the choice of means and methods. They do not bee the utility or the prudence of 
limiting their activities by any other dogma. So long as a course of action is likely to 
bring us nearer to Swaraj and so long as it does not lead us beyond " peaceful and 
legitimate'* methods, we should not only not hesitate to adopt it we bhall be under a 
duty to adept it, if we mean to be true to ourselves and to the best interests of our county. 

" Widest Liberty of Action." 

This is the fundamental doctrine of the Responsive Co-operation Party. In striving 
for Swaial we intend to reserve to ourselves the widest liberty of action that* the Congress 
creed permits- So long as we feel that we are keeping up the struggle for Swaraj at as 
many points as possible and m as vigorous a manner as possible, we shall not be deterred 
by formulas, conventions, political catchwords, and other torms of verbal jugglery. If 
the interests of the countiy call for it, we shall non-co-operate with the Government to 
the extent of Civil disobedience, if mcesbary. The rt-c<-nt example ot Pandit Mailan 
Mohan Malaviya and Dr. B. 8. Moonje, two of the illustrious leaders of the Party in other 
provinces, is already fresh in your minds, and ought to convince you that the Responsive 
Co-opeiators does not mean business and will utilise every ounce of stiength that the 
nation possesses in order to secure for it the birthright of freedom to which all human 
beings are by Divine law entitled. Again, if the mterebts of the country demand it, we 
shall not fohrmk from the duty ot co-operating with the Government, even at the risk 
of courting ridicule from those who seems to think that Swaraj can be attained by noise 
and fury, excitement and other stage-effects. Whether misguided politicians and the blind 
followers they may have gathered round them callous co-opeiators, moderates or loyalists 
does not matter m the least. Whether we are serving the true interests of the country, 
whether we are bringing the day of Swaraj nearer, is the sole consideration for us. If 
we show ourselves weak m this stiuggU', it we tail to acquit ourselves as well as we 
might, if as woikezs in the counuy's cause we do not put the utmobt pressure on the 
bureaucracy or if we fail to take advantage of opportunities for progress that offer, we 
shall have richly carried the cordemnation of our countrymen. It is this attitude of 
fighting for our birthright at every point, with every weapon, and with unremitting 
devotion, that is the highest conception of nationalit-m to which we can aspire the 
nationalism our great departed leader, Bal Gangadhar Tilak taught and woiked for. 
For obstiuction as such we have no Jove, because obstruction is not always synonymous 
with resistance, if we consider the peculiar relationship that subsists between ourselves 
and our rulers. Obstiuction will in tact be mobtly futile, of tin injurious to our interests. 
But there is a wide range of political activity in which we as a nation can gain in 
strength only by pitting the whole of that strength againbt the strength of the bureau- 
cracy ; it is in this sphere that obstruction will be useful, that obstruction will be 
necebsary. And 1 need not point out to you, gentlemen, that as the past record of the 
leaders of the Responsive Co-operation Party shows, we shall not shrink from putting up 
the most stubborn resistance to official autocracy in all its form that we are at present 
capable of. 

Acceptance of Ministership. 

Before I conclude, I shall mention only one other matter ; I mean the question of 
accepting ministerships. If yon have followed mo so far, you will understand that the 
only teet that we can apply to this question is the test ot the country's welfare. Shall 
we be helping our country m their march towards freedom ? If we can do so as Ministers, 
we are under a clear and urgent duty to put forwaid our best men for Ministerial 
portfolios; and if we fail to do so, we shall not only be convicting ourselves of moral 
cowardice, we shall even be betraying the country's interests. But we must at the same 
time keep in mind the other alternative. The Government may not be disposed to grant 
to minjiterg those facilities that will enable them to work efficiently for the good of the 


fionntry. In that case it would equally be our clear duty to reject all offers of Ministerial 
portfolios. It is not the pomp and power of a Minister that we covet ; it is the oppor- 
tunities for national service that might go along with Ministerships that we dare not 
overlook. Inadequate, unsatisfactory and disappointing as the 'Reforms admittedly are, 
it would be mere affectation to deny that the work of village reconstruction could never 
be taken in hand on any adequate scale except with the support of the State exchequer. 
If we are to drive out Malaria and Kala-azar from the villagns of Bengal ; if w* are to 
contruct roads, canals, and bridges in rural area*, if we are to clear jungle*, sink wells 
and excavate tanks for the benefit and use of villagers, if we are to make primary 
education compulsory and vocational education effective, if we are to promote agricultural 
and Industrial development and thus cut at the very roots of the middle-class unemployment 
that has become the bane of our social life ; if we are to do all these things at least 
attempt to do them. I ask you, will vou prefer to have the work done or the attempt 
made under the auspices of an I.C.S., official or a Government nominee rather than 
under the directions of one chosen by you and amenable to you and liable to be 
removed from office by your vote ? This is an aspect of the question to which I draw 
your attention and the implications of which I trust you will fnlly consider. 

" Commnnalized Politics." 

One more point and I have finished. I feel I have to remind you also of the 
unhappy state of affairs that has arisen both in this and in other provinces as a result 
of the acute communal dissensions which prevail in the country from one end to the 
other. This unfortunate development has a vital bearing on the question of adopting 
offices ; and 1 wish you to ponder over it. Some of you may have heard Mr. Jayakar 
speaking a few days ago at the Albert Institute Hall in this city. He told us experience 
of what may be called commnnalizpd politics in the Bombay Presidency. The Ministers 
there have been elected on communal principle* and are rntain^d in office on the strength 
of communal votes. Mr. Jayakar who headed the Swarajist block in the Bombay Council 
found himself helpless against a combination of the official and nominated members with 
the communalist members in the legislature. The result is that even the reactionary 
measures of the Ministers are supported on communal grounds and the administration of 
the Transferred Departments is becoming more and more communal in spirit with dis- 
astrous results on the general progress of the people. State patronage and other forms 
of State encouragement are being lent on communal grounds irrespective of all other 
considerations. I request you to consider whether this is a desirabln state of affairs for 
us to bring about or acquiesce in ; and how far there is in our province a risk of such a 
development in the near future, 

Congress Politics in Central Provinces^ 

By the end of July 1926 serious differences among the Congressmen 
that bad been brewing in th* Central Provinces for some time past culmi- 
nated in tbe secession of the most influential section of tbe existing 
members of the Legislative Council. The following statement was issued 
under tbe signature of Mr. E. Ragbavendra Rao, leader of tbe Swara] 
Party in the Central Provinces Legistative Council and several others asso- 
ciated witb him both insida and outside tbe Council : 

" We the undersigned Congressmen in the Hindi districts of tbe Central 
Provinces, being of the opinion that tbe present political situation in the 
country warrants a modification of tbe programme cbalked out by tbe 
Congress at Cawnpore within tbe Legislative Councils witb a view to secure 
more effective co-ordination between tbe different shades of opinion in this 
province and secure tbe largest representation of Congressmen in tbe local 
Legislative Council, do hereby declare as under 

(l) That tbe policy of obstruction in tbe Provincial Councils sbould 
be pursued having regard to the verdict of tbe electorate throughout the 
country and not as a result of the return of a majority of Congressmen in 
this province alone. We are of opinion that unless and until Congressmen 
are returned in a majority in at least two of the major provinces of 


Bengal, Madras, Bombay and United Provinces, the Central Provinces alone 
should not be harnessed to an obstruction programme, as we consider that 
any isolated pursuit of that policy in a minor province is not likely to advance 
the objective of the Indian National Congress, 

(2) We do not agree ourselves to accept offices as a part of our 
political creed. If, after election, should the response made by the Govern- 
ment be satisfactory and if power or responsibility and initiative necessary 
for the effective discharge of their duties are secured to Ministers, we shall 
consider the response on its own merits. The decision in our opinion 
should be left to a majority of the Congressmen in the country's Councils. 
It shall be our endeavour to convert the next Congress to this view. In 
pursuance of this declaration, we solemnly promise to stand as independent 
Congressmen in the forthcoming election to the local Legislative Council and 
will honestly carry out the objects, stated above, in letter and spirit". 

Subsequently, in a letter addressed to Pandit Motilal Nehru as President 
of the Central Swarajya Party, Mr. Raghavendra Rao stated that opinion 
was against the Central Provinces alone being harnessed to the obstructive 
programme in the Legislative Council against the weight of the verdict of 
the electorates in the rest of India. Mr. Raghavendra Rao therefore resigned 
his membership of the Executive Council of the Central Swarajya Party. 

A Review of the Situation. 

In this connection a review of the political situation in the Central 
Provinces at this stage will not be uninteresting. As is evident from the 
statement above, the cessation of the prominent members of the C. P. 
Hindustani party completed the split in the C. P. Swaraj Party and all 
attempts to bring about a compromise failed. In the 1923 Elections the Swara- 
jists won their most sweeping victory in the Province and had the pleasure 
of "killing" dyarchy there. But now they were practically reduced 
to hopeless impotency. Mr. E. Raghavendra Rao, Chief whip of the 
Hindustani Swarajists formed his own party of Independent Congress- 
men on the lines of Responsivists taking his stand on the broken Sabarmati 
Pact. He was setting up candidates of hie own party in opposition to 
Congress candidates. The Responsivists counted upon the support of Mr. 
Rao and his new party, for the programmes of both the parties were 
similar in many respects and the points of differences were almost negli- 
gible. For, though Mr. Rao and his following had broken the Swarajist vow, 
they did not reconcile themselves to the acceptance of offices. But if, after the 
election, they said, the response made by the Government was agreeable 
and if powers necessary for the effective discharge of their duties were 
secured to ministers, they would consider the question afresh on its merit. 

The Liberals, too, were not lagging behind. They were setting up 
their candidates for the various constituencies. The Non-Brahmins had 
also put an organised fight. Of the seventeen Berar seats the Non-Brahmin 
Congress decided to fight for seven seats. The Non-Brahmin election 
board of Wardha announced their candidates to capture seats in the Council 
on the " Non-Brahmin Congress " ticket. 

In the meantime help from outside was also sought to impress the elec- 
torate. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya came to the province on Mr. Rao's 
invitation and addressed meetings at Bilaapur, Raipur, Nagpur, Seoni and 

The Bengal Congress Committee Affairs. 

In pursuance of one of the clauses of fche compromise* which had been 
arrived at between Mr. J. M, Sen Gupta and Mr. T. C. Goswami (See Vol. 
I, p. 99 ) the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee met on the 25th July 
1926 to elect 30 members to the Executive Committee of the Bengal 
Provincial Congress Committee in place of thirty members who had been 
nominated by Mr. J. M. Sen Gupta in exercise of the powers granted 
to him by the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee at its stormy meeting 
of the 13th June, when Mr. Sarat Chandra Bose and Mr. Nirmal Chunder 
Chunder walked out of the meeting as a protest against such rcoonstitution 
of the Executive Committee. 

The thirty nominated members, at the request of Mr. Sen Gupta, had 
resigned their seats and on this day thirty new members were elected, the 
new list including Messrs. Goswami, Sarat Bose, Nalirii Eanjan Sircar and two 
leaders of the Congress Karmi Sangha, namely, Mr. Amarendra Nath 
Chatterjee and Mr. Upendranath Bannerjee. 

The second item on the agenda was taken up first. It was for suggestion 
of name for the Presidentship of the Indian National Congress to be held 
at Gauhati. But as the Reception Committee had already issued the names 
suggested by other provinces for final selection of one name from them, it 
was settled that in the month of August the final selection would be made 
and that there was therefore no need of sending any suggestion now. 

Then the first item was taken up. It|was to elect 20 members of the 
Executive Council of the B. Jf. C. C., in place of those whom Mr. Sen Guptai 
the President nominated according to the decision of the B. P. C. C. meeting 
held on the 13th June last. Mr. Sen Gupta explained to the members that 
in order to make Congress work easy he agreed to this position and therefore 
he asked all the members to help him in this matter. Then he asked Mr. 
T. C. Goswami to propose 30 members. 

Mr. T. C. Goswami on proposing 30 members informed the house that 
the list of 30 members that he was proposing was prepared in consultation 
with the President and other important members. He also said that he 
consulted Mr. Upendra Nath Banorjee and Mr. Amarendra Nath Chatterjee 
though they did not agree to the entire list. He asked the members to 
accept the list. 

Before he finished Babu Anil Kumar Boy Chowdhury raised a point of 
order stating that he had given notice of a resolution in which he questioned 
the legality of the Executive Council made on the 1 3th June last. So that 
resolution should be brought first. The President ruled that as the meeting 
had been called to consider only two items on the agenda he would not allow 
any other matter to be brought up and further that when no notice of that 
resolution had been sent to the members it could not be moved. Then 
Mr. Lalit Mohan Das rose on a point of order to the effect that as the nomi- 
nation of the members of the Executive Council made by Mr Sen Gupta 
as President was valid and no election of 30 members could take place unless 
they resigned. Thereupon the Secretary explained that those 30 members 

* The following is the text of the Compromise : That the resolution of the B. P. C. 0. 
empowering Mr. J. M. Sen Gupta to nominate 30 members of the Executive will be 
reminded and a fresh election will be made to fill np theie vacancies 


bad already resigned. Then Mr. Goswami read the list. After the names 
were read Babu Suresh Chandra Mazumder asked some members to go out 
and this they did. Then Sj, Kiran Sankar Boy seconded the resolution and 
the list was unanimously accepted. As there was no other work the meeting 
was dissolved. 

The K a r m i Sangha's Statement. 

Sj. Satish Chandra Sarkar, Officiating Secretary) Congress Karmi Sangha 
issued the following statement in pursuance of a resolution passed at a 
meeting of the Sangha on 7th August. The statement is interesting in as 
much as it has some bearing on the clash that the Sangha had with the 
B. P. C. C. Executive : 

It has been brought to our notice that a systematic and persistent campaign of 
vilication and misrepresentation are being carried on against the Karmi Sangha by such 
responsible leaders ot the Congiess to lower it m the estimation of the public. We, have-, 
therefore, thought it desirable to make a clear statement or our position and try to explain 
the kind and careful attention paid to it by the Congiesb 1 carders. 

The Congress Karmisaugha has been iounded to carry on the Congress work specially 
the constructive programme which has been sadly neglected by the picsent leadeis and to 
bring about a coraial and harmonious relation between the woikeis of different groups, 
so essential for the real and solid woik ol the count ly. It fctauds for the Congress pro- 
gramme as its name unmistakably implies. It wants the Congress oiganisation to put to 
function, all round the year, and dors not think its duties ended with the election to the 
different legislatures. The Karmisangha wants to push the constructive piogramme which 
has been sadly neglected by the leaders. It thinks that communahem and nationalism 
will go hand in band and therefore wants to have nothing which seeks to perpetuate the 
spirit ot communalism. Now-a-days it has become a common piactice with our leaders 
to accuse a person of being a spy whom they want to remove from public life but cannot 
bring any detimte charge against him. It is easy for the accusers , for it docs not require 
any proof but it is impossible for the peibon accused of to clear himself. When Mrs. 
Naidu brought that charge against so large a number of the members of the Karmi 
Sang ha she totally forgot her exalted position and also totally forgot that the success of 
Congress-work and ot Swaraj-Party was, not to a bmall measure, due to the devotion and 
haid toils ot these now much maligned woikeits and the tuple crown on the head of her 
host was mainly put by the exertions of those whom bhe now is pleased to call spies. 

When the Calcutta Coipoiation was captured by the Congim the question of the 
appointment of the Chief Executive Officer came to the [ore front, borne persons who are 
now members of the Karmi tSangha and their friends now under detention pressed for ap- 
pointing bj. Bubhas Chandra Bose as the Executive Officer and he wab ultimately appointed 
as such. Mr. Sasmal was also a candidate tor the post and he tried his level best to got 
it. This was too much for the selflefcs bj. B. N. Sasmal ; hiB paitriotibm could not brook it, 
and he took it as an insult and non-net gnition of bib tacnfice and tei vice. He ulti- 
mately cut off his connection with the bwaia] Tarty and resigned the membership of the 
Bengal Legislative Council in spite of repeated and earnest entieaties and requests from 
Deshbandhu. Deshbandhu tried every possible means to pacify him but all in vain. 
Then it came into the head of Mr. Basmal that owing to the opposition of the workers 
he could not get the much covered pest. From that time Mr. Sasmal began to bear a 
bitter grudge against them which he unbuidened at Krishnagar. In this connection it 
may not bo out of place here to mtntion that when Sj, bubaeh Chandra Bose was 
mysteriously spirited away for unknown reasons, Deshbandhu did not think it necessary 
to call Mi. basmal to take up the duties of the Chief Executorship and we know he had 
good reasons not to do so. 

After Deshbandhu's death there was an acute difference inside the Bengal Swarajya 
Party about the appointment of the Mayor of the Corporation. Some prominent men of 
Calcutta wanted that either bj. Nirmal Chandra Chancier or Mr. (Saiat Chandia Bose 
ihould be the Mayor but others thought that the Fiesideut of the B.P.C.C., Bengal Swaiaj- 
ya Party and the Mayor should be the one and the same person. Mahatma Gandhi who 
was then at Calcutta, supported this view. Mr. Ben Gupta sought the help of the persons 
whom he is now pleased to call disloyal to the Congress and therefore undesirable and 
bit friend Mr, Basmal and hie guest KIS. flaidn ate pleased to call spies. He came out 


tnooemfal only because of the effort of the workers. This caused heart-burning in many 
quarters. Bj. Tulsi Charan Qoswami returned from England and Joined the opposition 
party to Mr. Sen Gupta. Thus the group now styled Karmi Sangha made themselves 
obnoxious and undesirable to these influential and wealthy persons of Calcutta and drew 
their careful and kind attention. Mr. Sasmal joined them and various rumours were 
pread against those who worked for Mr. Sen Gupta. At the time it seemed he actually 
felt pained that false insinuation were made against innocent and sincere workers for no 
fault of theirs. 

Mr. Sasmal entered the Bengal Council after Deshbandhu's death and was a candi- 
date for the presidentship of the Bengal Council. But this time also be had to be dis- 
appointed. Srijut Eiron Sankar Hoy, the power behind the throne in Swarajya Party, 
was in close friendly touch with the members of the Karrai Sangha at the time but not 
even on speaking terms with Mr. Sasmal. So Mr. Sasmal thought that Sj. Kiron Sankar 
with the help of the members of the Karmi Sangha influenced the Swarajya Party not 
to adopt him as their party candidate so he got himself again defeated. 

Then in November, 1925 came the general meeting of the B.P.C.C. for the election 
of office-bearers and the Executive Council. The opponents of Mr. Sen Gupta tried to 
have 8m. Basanti Devi as President and Mr, Sasmal as Secretary. But Sra. Basanti Devi 
refused to be the President and Mr. Sen Gupta came out successful only with the help 
of the now much-maligned group. Sj. Kiron Sankar Roy. tho power behind the throne, 
arranged the personnel of the Executive Committee and other office-bearers in consulta- 
tion with the undesirables. Just before the Cawnpore Congress a compromise was effected 
with Sj. Talsi Charan Goswami and his friends as a result of which Sj. Harendra Nath 
Bai Chowdhury and Dr. B. C. Ray were elected members of the A.I.C.C. 

Fresh troubles again appeared about the election of the selection board for the 
nomination of candidates for the different legislatures, At a general meeting of tho 
B.P.C.C. held in January Sj. Goswami proposed 14 names for the election board and 
would not have any addition or alteration while Mr. Sen Gupta proposed 30 names taking 
persons from all groups. The amendment electing only Sm. Basanti Devi, Mr. J. M. Sen 
Gupta and Moulana Azad on the board was carried by the support of the Karmi Sangha 
at the advice of Sj. Kiron Sankar Roy, for it virtually made Mr. Sen Gupta the absolute 
master of the whole election affairs. After some time Mr. Sen Gupta as a result of the 
negotiations with Mr. Goswami's group asked the Executive Council to co-opt some 
members and Mr. Goswami and others were elected as such, the members of the Karmi 
Sangha who were on the executive supporting Mr. Sen Gupta. The Karmi Sangha urged 
that the District Congress Committees should be reorganised first and nominations of 
candidates be made afterwards and funds be raised for the purpose. The election board 
slept over the question of reorganisation of the District Congress Committees, though 
repeatedly their attention was drawn to the matter and a resolution in the Executive 
Council to reorganise the District Congress Committees before nomination of candidates 
was defeated by the casting vote of the President Mr. Sen Gupta. At this some members 
of the election board who did not like the suggestion resigned and those resignations 
were not only not unwelcome to Mr. Sen Gupta ani Kiron Babu but rather they wer 
a great relief to them. 

Then came the fateful Krishuagar Conference in May last. Mr. Sasmal would not 
allow the opportunity to slip away, he hurled wanton abuses against the ex-revolutionaries 
and "marked men of tho Government 11 and wanted them to get out of the Executive in 
his Presidential address. Mr. Sen Gupta himself felt constrained to move in the Subjects 
Committee a resolution deprecating Mr. Sasmal's utterances, though later on he put 
Mr, Sasmal's sentiment into action. Mr. Sasmal left the Subjects Committee at once and 
refused to preside over the conference. Whin the delegates assembled in a meeting they 
discussed whether there should be any sitting of the conference then and there. The 
question of Hindu Moslem pact was hanging like fire, Mr. Sen Gupta and his followers, 
who wanted to keep the pact as it was, left the meeting after breaking it lest the pact 
should be, with tha help of a Moslem delegate, rescinded, signs of which they had seen in 
the Subjects Committee meeting. Somehow or other Mr. Sen Gupta now began to feel that 
he was losing his influence over the Karmi Sangha with whose help he captured the 
triple crown and maintained his position. He now joined hands with Mr. Sasmal with 
a view to get rid of his old friends whom he now imagined his opponents. Then came 
the memorable meeting of the B.P.C.C. on the 13th June in which Mr. Sen Gupta 
appi-alfd to the members to dissolve the Executive Council and re-elect a new executive 
in its place a<* the majority of it were members of the Karmi Sangha who wanted a modi- 
fication of the Bengal Pact and to refer it to the A.I.C.C. and as such, according to him, 
disloyal to the Congress. He appealed to the B.P.C.C., to elect such a Council that wijl 


alwayi blindly follow him without asking why and wherefore. This triok inoceeded 
but the recent compromise with Mr. G-oswami's group over the pact question and the 
election of the Executive Council that took place on the 25th July speaks for itself. All 
these dissolutions and elections lead to one thing and one thing only that it is against 
the spirit and letter of democracy and the present leaders have utterly forgotten that 
the Indian National Congress is a democratic body and it is their sacred duty to demo- 
cratise it more and more. 

The Karmi Sangha, therefore, resent such unconstitutional, undemocratic and auto- 
cratic action of the leaders of the Congress and want to see the provincial organisation 
purged of autocracy and unoonstitutionaliBm and run on national and democratic lines. 

The Karmi Sangha will devote its energies to the re-organisation of Congress Com- 
mittees and villages wherein dwelleth the true soul of the nation and hope the country 
will co-operate with them in this endeavour. 

Compromise with Karmi Sangha. 

Subsequently at a meeting of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee 
held on the 29th August, a compromise was arrived at between the Karmi 
Sangha and other members of the B.P.C.C. on the basis inter alia that twelve 
members of the Sangha would replace a similar number who had resigned 
Irom the executive council of the Committee and that the present Congress 
returning officers would be substituted by presidents of District Congress 
Committees. The following is the official report of its proceedings : 

" The Bengal Provincial Congress Committee requisition meeting held 
on the 29TH AUGUST was very largely attended, over 200 members being 
present. From the very beginning it was noticeable that an attempt was 
being made by the President, Mr. J. M. Sen Gupta, to bring all parties 
together in order that a united front might be presented at the next 
election. In opening the proceedings the President observed that it was the 
duty of the members of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee to forget 
all differences. If there had been any irregularities or mistakes no party 
could say that they were all on the other side. He made an eloquent appeal 
in the name of the Congress to all present to sink their differences and to 
work together. They had only two months more to get ready for the elections 
and the President felt no doubt that if all parties within the Congress 
joined hands no other party outside would have any remotest chance at the 

After the President's speech Mr. S. C. Bose moved the following 

That all matters raised in the resolutions of which notice has been given 
and to consider which this meeting has been called, having been settled to 
the satisfaction of all concerned, this meeting resolves as follows : 

(a) that the following members of the B. P. C. C. be elected as mem- 
bers of the Executive Committee of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee 
in the places of (Here 12 names are mentioned against a similar number 

(b) that the Presidents of the District Congresse Committees will be the 
returning officers of their respective districts and in case any of them declines 
or is unwilling or unable to act as such, he will nominate a member of the 
District Congress Committee as such returning officer in , his place. The 
Presidents or their nominees will take charge as such returning officers 
immediately and the old returning officers who have been elected do make 
over charge to the new returning officers immediately. 

(o) That all acts done by the old returning officers up to the date of 
the new returning officers taking charge will be generally treated as valid, 


but if any questions of validity of their acts be raised in future, such questions 
will be decided by the Elections Disputes Committee of the Bengal Pro- 
vincial Congress Committee. 

(d) that the following members of the B, P. C. C. be elected additional 
members of the Election Disputes Committee which has been elected viz : 
Babus Amarendra Nath Chatter) ee, Kiran Sankar Roy, Jibeudra Nath Mitra, 
and Sarat Chandra Bose ; 

(e) that the time for filing nomination papers election to the B. P. C. C. 
be extended up to the 7th September 1926 and that all consequential changes 
regarding the dates of scrutiny and other dates be made by the executive 
committee of the B. P. C. C. 

1 . That having regard to the above resolution, all the resolutions of 
which notice has been given stand withdrawn." 

Babu Amarendra Nath Chatterjee seconded the resolution in a feeling 
speech and Babu Provash Chandra Boae supported it. 

Babu Basanta, Kumar Mazumdar said that neither he nor his" friends had 
any objection to twelve members of the Karmi Sangha coming into the 
Executive Council of the B. P. C. C. but he saw no necessity for the addition 
of any members to the Election Disputes Committee or for appointing the 
Presidents of the District Committees as returning officers in their respective 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in supporting the resolution made a power- 
ful appeal to all Hindus and Moslems present for unity. He impressed on 
the meeting the necessity of closing up the ranks for the purpose of effectively 
fighting the elections. 

The house adjourned for half an hour for an informal discussion and 
after the proceedings were resumed the resolution was put to the vote 
and carried by an overwhelming majority, about one hundred and eighty 
voting for and about 25 against. 

After the requisition meeting was over a Special Meeting of the B. P. C. 
C. to consider certain proposed changes in the Rules was held. Mr. Kiran 
Sankar Roy moved that the rules regarding requisition meetings be suspended 
till election to the legistaturas was over. Mr. S. C. Bose moved an amend- 
ment by adding the words " unless the requisition stating the business to be 
transacted is signed by not less than sixty members of the B P. C. C." Mr. 
Roy accepted the amendment which was put to the vote and carried by 
more than three-fourths majority. 

Election of B. P. C. C. Members & Executive. 

An unpleasant incident took place at a meeting held on the 4TH 
DECEMBER, of the newly elected members of the Bengal Provincial Congress 
Committee to which admission was by cards. Recently a new 24 Parganas 
District Committee was formed disqualifying most of the old members. The 
latter demanded admission at the meeting holding the disqualification invalid, 
but men at the gate opposed their admission. Hot words passed between 
the parties, but before they came to blows, leaders interfered and on the 
assurance that their grievances will be considered next day flourishing of 
sticks and splint bamboos ceased. 

The meeting commenced with Mr. J, M. Sen Gupta, President, in the 
chair. The only business transacted was co-option of 56 members by election 
including fourteen Mahomedans and ten ladies. After the election of co- 
opted members, the meeting of the Committee was adjournec}. 


Next day serious disturbance was created again when the adjourned 
meeting of the Committee was held. A crowd consisting of some rowdies 
wanted to enter the hall of the meeting without admission cards and they 
were prevented by men at the gate. As a result quarrel ensued and the 
mob became furious. Regular fusillade of brickbats and stones were pelted 
from the streets and the volunteers were belaboured with sticks, glass 
windows were smashed and the business of the meeting stopped for a 
considerable time. The situation became so menacing that the Police were 
at once phoned for and but for their timely arrival, the situation would have 
gone out of control. Four men were seriously injured including one press 
representative. The Police arrested five men. 

The general meeting of the Committee was then resumed Mr. J. 
M. Sen Gupta, the out-going President, presided. Mr. Sen Gupta, at the 
outset, remarked that for private reasons he did not offer himself for 
re-election as President for the forthcoming year. Mrs. C. R, Das was un- 
animously elected President, Nirmal Chander Chander and Wahid Hussain 
were elected Vice-Presidents and Mr. Anil Baran Roy who was recently 
released from the jail was elected Secretary. Sixty members were elected 
to form the Executive Committee including 20 elected and unoontested in- 
cluding Messrs. J, M. Sen Gupta, T. C. Goswami and S. C. Boae. 

Ban on Pt. Malaviya and Dr. Moonjee. 

In the beginning of August the country heard with surprise the news 
from Allahabad and Calcutta about the ban on Pandit Malaviya to enter 
Calcutta under Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code, That the Acting 
Governor of Bengal had more or less yielded to the influence of the party 
of Sir Abdur Rahim was the general comment on the prohibition order. 
Pandit Malaviya's reply to the Chief Presidency Magistrate refusing to submit 
to his "illegal and unjustifiable" order and his decision to proceed to 
Calcutta was now the chief topic in both official and non-official circles. 

Pandit Malaviya's telegram to the Chief Presidency Magistrate was 
considered in non-official circles as the only reply which that veteran 
Congressman and politician of forty years' experience could have given to 
the sensation-longing action of Sir Hugh Stephenson. 

The Prohibition Order. 

The following order under Sec. 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code 
under the signature of the Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta was 
served on Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya at his residence in George Town, 
Allahabad, on the 4th August : 

" To Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya of Allahabad. 

" Whereas it has been made to appear to me you intend to enter the 
town of Calcutta on or about the 4th day of August 1926, that considering 
the present state of communal feeling in the town of Calcutta between Hindu 
and Mahomedan communities, your presence in the town of Calontta is 
likely to lead to* a disturbance of public trauquility, that since the outbreak 
of communal riots in the town of Calcutta Jon 2nd April 1926, you have 


made public utterances in Calcutta which were likely to excite the feelings 
of the aforesaid communities and that in the present circumstances your pre- 
sence in Calcutta and your addresses to different bodies of men are 
likely to lead to a disturbance of public tranquillity, therefore, I do hereby 
prohibit you under Section 144, Criminal Procedure Code from entering the 
town of Calcutta or remaining therein and I strictly warn and enjoin you 
not to disobey the said order/ 1 

Pt. Malaviya's Eeply. 

In reply Pandit Malaviya addressed a letter to the Chief Presidency 
Magistrate, Calcutta, in which he submitted that the order was based upon 
misrepresentation of his public utterances in Calcutta. The Pandit further 
wrote : " It is entirely wrong to say that those utterances were likely 
to excite the feelings of Hindu and Mahomedan Communities in 
Calcutta. On the contrary, I claim that they were calculated to smooth 
those feelings and did have the effect of subduing them to some extent and 
of easing the tension that unfortunately existed between the communities. 
I am surprised to learn that anyone should have suggested to you in the 
present circumstances that my presence in Calcutta and my addresses to 
different bodies of men there, are likely to lead to a disturbance of the 
public tranquillity. The speeches I made in Calcutta, were reported in the 
public press and a perusal of them will show that they do not support the 
view you have been led to form of them. If official reports of my speeches 
submitted to you are different from those published in the press, I should 
like to see them. I have been in public life for over 40 years and I claim 
to be able to avoid saying anything which is likely to lend to a disturbance 
of public tranquillity or to incite communal feuds. If, however, my speeches 
were such as you have described them, it was and is open to the Govern* 
ment to prosecute me for having made them. If I make any such speeches 
in future, it will yet be open to the Government to do the same. But I 
submit that the Legislature did not intend that a Magistrate should curtail 
the right of speech and action of any individual in the manner you have 
sought to do in my case by an order under Section 144 of the Code of 
Criminal Procedure. In the circumstances of the case I consider your order 
to be both illegal and unjustifiable and in the cause of freedom of speech 
and action, I consider it my duty not to obey it. Consequenty, I beg to 
inform you that I hope to reach Calcutta by the Punjab Mail on the morning 
of the 7th instant and intend putting up at Birla Park in Ballygunje." 

The Pandit's Arrival. 

Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya arrived at Howrah by the Punjab 
Mail on the 7th August and motored straight to Birla Park, the residence in 
Ballygunge of Mr. Ghanshyamdas Birla. In spite of his message to Mr. B. 
Chakravarti that there should be no demonstration, there was a large 
crowd of Hindus to receive him at the station. The Pandit addressed them 
in Hindi and asked them always to keep peace. 

Police Precautions. 

The Police authorities had taken elaborate precutions to prevent any 
untoward incident and armed European Sergeants and Gurkhas and foot- 
police with Jathies had been posted at both ends of the Howrah Bridge. 
The Fandit alighted from the train and after addressing a few words in 


Hindi to the crowd on the platform, drove off at a high speed towards the 
bridge en route to Birla Park, followed by a running and cheering crowd. The 
Police at the Howrah end of the bridge allowed the Pundit's car to pass and 
immediately blocked the entire breadth of the Bridge holding up the crowd 
and all vehicular traffic for a quarter of an hour, after which the crowd was 
allowed to enter the Bridge. This effectively prevented any demonstration 
on the route. 

The Pandit's Address. 

In the afternoon the Pandit addressed a very largely attended public 
meeting in the Albert Hall on the present situation. He laid special 
stress on the Hindu-Muslim differences and suggested a& a remedy that if 
only the so-called educated men should decide to contribute their shares to 
the solution of this important question by taking up a right attitude and 
proclaiming it to their fellow countrymen, they would cease to quarrel in a 
day. He advised all political parties to sink their differences and merge 
themselves into the large Congress Party in order that the Government 
might yield to their reasonable demands. The Pandit advocated the adop- 
tion of one common policy which was the policy of what was called Kespon- 
eive co-operation. 

Dividing his subject into three heads namely the present situation as it 
was affected by relations of the two principal communities, the differences 
that divided the political parties at present and the attitude of the Govern- 
ment towards public question of vital importance, the Pandit said that every 
one of them was aware how deplorably sad the relations between the Hindus 
and the Mahomedans had been during the last two or three years and 
particularly during the past few months. The events that had happened in 
India within the last few months and which had exposed them to the ridicule 
of the world were nothing but temporary outbursts of evil passions fanned 
by utterances of some so-called educated men and they would cease to quarrel 
if the so-called educated men decide to contribute their share to the solution 
of this question by taking up a right attitude and proclaiming that attitude 
to their fellow countrymen. 

He did not agree that the solution of the political question was to be 
made a condition precedent to the settlement of communal quarrels. He 
had no desire to minimise the gravity of the situation in regard to this 
matter, but he felt that the situation would be best handled by adopting a 
correct attitude and by having courage to speak out what they felt to be 
right. The Government of the country had also its contribution to make 
to the solution of the question and wherever the authorities were just and 
firm and bad the courage to act correctly, the situation was easily handled. 
It was, therefore, essential that the Government should adopt a correct and 
firm attitude and should not show partiality to one community. 

With regard to the second part of his subject, the Pandit said that at 
the present moment, they were in the midst of many parties. The Swaraj 
Party had adopted a policy which was inherently unsound. The Pandit 
begged of the members of the party to consider whether io their present 
frame of mind any one of them could render right service to the country. 
It was high time that they should definitely decide to abandon this attitude. 
Those who wanted to go to the Councils must go there with the determination 
that they would uie them to promote the establishment oi full responsible 


Government and, at the same time, offer the stoutest resistance to the 
Government's proposals when public interests demanded it. It was no good 
saying that they were bound by the Congress resolutions. He was a member 
of the Congress for many years and hoped to remain so all his life and die 
as such, but he claimed' that his love for his country was greater than the 
reverence he owed to the Congress. It would be a calamity if they could not 
compose their differences and agree that they should see that the right 
type of men were returned from all parties at the coming elections. 

Turning to the last point, the Pandit said that the attitude of the 
Government towards public questions had changed for the worse during the 
time they had been divided and in many places the Government had taken 
undue advantage of their division. The remedy lay in their own hands and 
if only they could create intelligent, united and determined public opinion, 
he was sure that the Government would climb down and show greater regard 
for their views and rights and privileges than they did at present. He was 
at one with the Swarajists that the constitution of the Government of India 
Act should be modified as early as possible, but that opportunity would not 
arise so long as they were divided. 

The Pandit concluded : " Every consideration demands that we should 
make up our differences and sit down together to adopt one common policy. 
I submit that in regard to Councils, the common policy that can be adopted 
is the policy of what is called " Responsive co-operation." 

Dr. Moonji's Arrival 

On the next day, the 8th August, Pt. Malaviya left Calcutta for the 
Central Provinces on election campaign. On the 9th August Dr. Moonji 
arrived in Calcutta and was received at the station by a small crowd, as 
many were not aware that he was coming. Elaborate police arrangements 
were also made as on the occasion of the arrival of Pt. Malaviya, but the 
Doctor was not arrested. He left Calcutta for Bilaspur in the same afternoon. 

On the same day, the 9th August, summonses were issued against both 
of them for disobeying the order and asking them to appear before the Chief 
Presidency Magistrate, Calcutta, either in person or by legal representative. 

Oil the 19th August the Standing Counsel and Public Prosecutor 
appeared arid applied before Mr. Bivar, Additional Presidency Magistrate, 
for the withdrawal of the cases against Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and 
Dr. B. S. Moonji. The Standing Counsel said that when the application for 
original order was made, communal tension was very high and the Pandit, 
on the occasion of his last visit, had addressed a meeting to a community 
which had taken a prominent part in the last riot. But the Government 
had now seen the full speech delivered by the Pandit on the 27th August 
and found it was conciliatory and that there was nothing objectionable in it. 
About 15 days had since passed and there had been no disturbance. Under 
these circumstances, the Standing Counsel, under instructions from the 
Government, asked leave to withdraw the case. 

Regarding Dr. Moonji, the Standing Counsel said that since his visit, 
there had been no riot or tendency for a riot and so he applied also for with- 
drawal of the case pending against him. 

Mahatma Gandhi's Comment. 
Commenting upon this Mahatma Gandhi congratulated the Government 
of Bengal upon the courage it has shown in retracing its steps and dropping 



proceeding against Pandit Mafcviya ami Dr. Moonji for their oivtt di*- 
iobedience. He however added : " But one could wish that there was a grace 
about the withdrawal of these proceedings. The Standing Counsel for the 
Government of Bengal made a statement which I think was highly offensive. 
There is no regret shown on behalf of the Government, no apology offered 
to the distinguished patriots, but on the contrary a veiled suggestion that 
there was possibly some connection between Panditji's presence in Calcutta 
and the riots that took place. Although the Standing Counsel is obliged to 
admit that there was nothing offensive or provocative in Panditii's speech 
on the strength of which the prohibition order was taken, surely it was up 
to the officials who took the proceedings to see the full text of the speech 
before applying for an order under Section 144 especially when the order 
was to be against persona so well-known in public life as Panditji and Dr. 
Moonji. If it was a private party that had acted so hastily as the Govern- 
ment of Bengal seem to have done in this case, that party would have 
rendered itself liable to An action for damages. If public opinion was well 
drganised and strong, it could bring to book the Government that acted so 
rashly and recklessly as the Bengal Government have done. In the face of 
these proceedings^ is it any wonder that the complaint is often heard that 
proceedings are often thoughtlessly, hastily and sometimes even vindictively 
taken against innocent persons in virtue of arbitrary powers by the Govern- 
ment under laws in the framing of which they have had most part f" 

, Lala Lajpat Rai's Resignation from Swaraj Party. 

1 Lala Lajpat Rai up to the time of the Cawnpore Congress had been an 
ntrsparing critic of the policy of the Swarajya Party. Even in the Subjects 
Committee of the Cawnpore Congress, he fought tooth and nail some parts 
of the walk-out programme which they were trying to have passed by the 
Congress. But pourparlers were in progress even at this time on behalf of 
the Swarajists to net the Punjab Lion. And it is now an old history how the 
wily Pundit of Allahabad with the help of the sharp witted politician of 
Madras, we mean Mr. Srinivasa lyenger and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu succeeded 
in capturing him. The public were simply astounded to hear that Lala 
Lajpat Rai had agreed at last to become a full-pledged Swarajist. But there 
wae more surprise in store for them. This they had when they found Lalaji 
in Match last at the Lahore Bradlaugh Hall supporting the Swarajist pro- 
gramme with all the zeal of a new convert. But the patriotism and sincerity 
of Lalaji are unquestionable and this action, therefore, was explained on the 
supposition that the Sun of the Punjab was under a temporary eclipse. 

This temporary eclipse or the cloud over his vision and intellect was now 
passing away and Lala Lajpat once again revealed himself in his full 
splendour not as a follower of a particular political party but as an apostle of 
unity. His letter to Pandit Motilal Nehru, the full text of which is given 
below, shows that he has now recognised the mistake he had committed in 
lending his weight to the policy of the Swarajists '. 

The letter was .published at a time when conversations were proceeding 
at Simla betwqen Mrs. Sarojini Naidu and Pandit Motilal Nehru on one side 
and Lala Lqj'pat Rai and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on the other for the 


purpose of finding a formula in order invite ail the parties' within the Con- 
gress, with the object of bringing about unity for fighting the elections. The 
following is the text of the letter addressed to Pandit Matilal Nehru, Presi- 
dent, Swaraj Party and is dated the 24th August 1926 : 

Lala Lajpat Rai's Letter. 

11 My dear Panditji : I thank you for the message you sent me last 
night through Mrs. Naidu and Mr. Rangaswami lyeugar asking , me to 
see you at your Hotel at 10 o'clock and to attend the party meeting 
at 11 A.M. to-day. They informed me .that the Swarai Party Executive 
Council had decided not to attend the rest of the session of the Legisla- 
tive Assembly. Mr. Kanga Swami lyengar told me that even if the 
party does not accept my proposal of attending the rest of the session 
they may permit me to do so as a special case for certain purposes. I 
have been considering the matter ever since these friends left me and 
have come to the conclusion that though no good purpose is likely to be 
served by my seeing you or attending the meeting of the party, but out 
of respect for you and the party, I should attend the party meeting and 
explain my position. Differences between us are too radical to be re- 
moved by any patch up and it shall not be honourable on my part to accept 
special permission of the party to attend the rest of the session if the party 
were to grant me such a permission (which assumption is purely problematic). 
I feel that while I can remain a member of the Congress inspite of my 
differences with the majority of its executive, I cannot remain a member 
of a party from whose executive I differ so radically. It is true I gave my 
support to the Cawnpore resolution. I did so with the best of motives in 
what I considered to be in the best interests of the country and the Congress 
then* but after experience of the last eight months I have come to the con- 
elusion that my hopes were not well founded. Firstly} the resolution was 
changed in one important particular, at least against my protest in March : 
last, thereby ceasing to bo binding on me at all. At Cawnpore I insisted on ; 
my amendment relating to the Budget Debate being accepted as a necessary 
condition of my supporting the resolution. The party accepted this, though : 
reluctantly, but 2 months later, the amendment accepted at Cawnpore was 
again negatived by a lesser authority than the Congress. 1 voted agaipst thifl 
change and questioned the jurisdiction of the All-India Congress Committee , 
to do so, but I was over-ruled. Still in the interests of discipline I walked 
out alone with the rest of the party. Secondly, the ostensible object of the 
resolution so far as it related to "walk out 1 ' had failed to realise. No ooaa- ' 
tructive work in the country was either undertaken or accomplished and 
exceptions were so many that it lost all' its value. The fact that I was not 
in full agreement with either at Cawnpore or at Delhi has more than onoe 
forced itself upon me but in my desire to remain with you as long as 
possible I brushed it aside until it has become quite clear that to continue 
a member of the party id neither fair to you nor to myself. There are 
certain matters on which my differences with you are almost fundamental. 
The angle of vision with which we two look at the questions relating to 
matters on which Hindus and the Muslims differ is entirely different .and 
often brings us into a conflict. Slowly and gradually I have some to share 
the belief of many other Hindus that the Swarai party as at presdnt consti- 
tuted is distinctly harmful to the Hindus flot so much in the matter ot 


their differences with Muslims as it is intrinsically in matters between the 
Government and the Hindus. The " Walk out " has positively been more 
harmful to the Hindus than to any other class or community. Assuming that 
the Swaraj party in the Legislative Assembly consisted of 40 to 50 members, 
their "walk out" has deprived only 5 or 6 Muslim constituencies of the 
services of their representatives, while in case of Hindus it has deprived the 
latter of about 6 or 7 times that number. 

14 The result is that by the "walk out" of the Swarajists, elected Hindus 
are in much smaller minority in the Assembly than they otherwise would be, 
thereby rendering their representation in the Assembly entirely ineffective. 
There is a lot of business transacted in the Assembly which mainly affects 
the Hindus and does not so much affect other communities. Hindu consti- 
tuencies which returned us are thus deprived of the services of their re- 
presentatives to a much larger extent than any other class or community 
has been. I consider this to be a breach of faith with the constituencies 
and I cannot any longer be a party to such breach of faith. I know, you 
cannot agree with me in that point of view, You say you came to the 
Assembly to wreck the reforms and everything that it implied. Although 
you have not acted in that spirit and have attended tho Assembly for one 
purpose at least even after the walk out, I however, did not como to the 
Assembly with that object or on that principle nor did 1 stand for election 
on the Swaraj Party ticket. In the matter of Council work I made my 
position quite clear in the letter I wrote to the Secretary at the time of joining 
the party.* Under the circumstances, I feel that I am out of place in such 
a party. That explains the difference in the way we look at the agenda of the 
rest of the session. To my mind all resolutions relating to communal quarrels 
or communal proportions in services are of national importance and all 
members of the Assembly should attend when they are considered whatever 
the result may be. Similarly in my judgment the proposed change in the 
Criminal Procedure Code is a serious matter deserving the consideration of all 
representatives of the people in the Assembly. It is an encroachment on the 
liberties of the people. I am mentioning these two points by way of illustration. 

" In my judgment it was a mistake not to have confirmed the Sabarmati 
Pact. On the question of accepting offices my views remain unchanged, but 
all the same I consider that the Sabarmati Pact was a very honourable 
settlement of differences between the two wings of the Congress and the 
failure to confirm it has been a disaster. 

* The following is the text of the letter which Lala Laj pat Rai wrote on the 20th 
January, 1926 in accepting the membership of the Swaiaj party -My Dear Panditji , I 
have to thank you for the invitation you have extended to me to join the ISwarajya party in 
the Legislative Assembly. The last time when I met you 1 said that personally I had made 
up my mind to accept your invitation, but that before giving my final consent I would 
consult my Lahore friends and would give you a final answer on Monday next. Since 
then I have consulted my friends and this letter is the result of that consultation. While 
joining the Party 1 would like to make my position quite clear so that there may be no 
misunderstanding about it now or hereafter. As 1 read the rules of the Party 1 do not 
think my position is in any way inconsistent with them. (A) 1 believe in the Council 
work. I am opposed to boycott of Councils and Assembly ; I am not in favour of the 
Swarajists accepting offices in the gift of the Government. (B) I do not believe in whole- 
sale obstruction and have never believed in it. (C) 1 wish to retain my freedom of action 
on communal questions. 1 understand that communal questions shall not be decided by a 
party vote. (D) In disputes between Labour and Capital I am a Labour man and 1 under- 
stand the majority of the Swaiajya party is also of the eame way of thinking. Subject to 
these observations 1 shall be glad to be a member of the party. Yours sincerely, Lajpat Rai, 


" In the light of what has happened during the last eight months, I consi- 
der that the decision of the Congress to run elections in its own name and 
by its own agency was a mistake and sooner that mistake is rectified the 
better for the country. This view is strengthened by a recent resolution of 
the Provincial Congress Committee of the United Provinces of Agra and 

" I do not agree with the resolution of the Working Committee regarding 
the right of one community to block legislation on matters on which 3-4ths 
of its members in a particular legislature desire that there should be no 
legislation, nor do I consider that the refusal of the Congress to concede 
freedom of action in communal matters is right. Again the honest truth 
is that at present at least I cannot think on party lines. I am of opinion 
that the present crisis in our national life should be met by a joint effort 
of the most competent and most trustworthy of the Indian nationalists 
regardless of party affiliations. I am conscious of the practical difficulties 
that lie in the way of my such scheme being carried out, but, 1 do not 
consider them to be insurmountable. Under the circumstances, I am uaable 
to work in the interests of the party as such and give my support in the 
coming elections to mere party candidates as against persons who in my 
judgment may be abler, more competent and more reliable from a political 
standpoint than mere party candidates. 

" Taking all these things into consideration you will, I presume, agree 
with me that I should not remain in the party. I do not presume to sit 
in judgment on the party. They are acting with the best of motives 
in what they consider to be the best interests of the country. I respect 
them for their view and I am anxious to maintain the friendliest possible 
relations with them. I value the privilege of your and their friendship 
if you and they will allow me, inspite of our differences, continuance of that 
privilege. This I think is only possible if I sever my connection with the 
party at this stage. To accept a concession for attending the remaining sittings 
of the Assembly will be neither honourable nor dignified. Subject to these 
remarks I am and shall always be at your beck and call for any service that 
I may be fit to render to you personally or to the party or its members consis- 
tently with my principles. I hope we are parting in the best of spirits and 
as friends in full recognition of the fact that each is actuated by the best 
of motives in the action he is taking. I am grateful to the party for persona! 
consideration they have shown me from time to time for reason of my past 

Pt. Nehru's Reply. 

In reply to the above Pt. Motilal Nehru sent a long letter in which he 
dealt seriatim with all the points of difference mentioned in there. The 
following is the text : 

" Dear Lala Lajpat Rai : Your typed letter dated August 24, was handed to me on 
the 26th, with the following note added in manuscript : * This letter was read in the 
party .meeting held on the 24th and was at my request given back to me for some corrections 
and for retyping. It is sent to Panditji to -a ay, the 26th. No copy or copies have 
been given to the Press or to any one else so far." 

" After receipt of this letter Mrs. Sarojini Naidu gave me to understand that you were 
reconsidering the position and would probably withdraw the letter. It was only last 
evening that I was informed that yon had banded it to the Press, and I find it to-day 
published in the ' Pioneer ' with an editorial note under the caption ' A Formidable 
Indictment/ It IB not now neoeetary to delay my reply any longer bat I must At the 


outset congratulate you on the well-deserved compliment paid to you by such a friend of 
Indian rights and aspirations as the " Pioneer.' 1 

" The action you have taken was not entirely unexpected, as it is well-known that 
yon have for some time past been preparing the public for it through a section of the' 
Press controlled or inspired by you. But what has come upon me as a painful surprise 
ii the reasoning by which you seek to justify that action. If you had only sent in your 
resignation without expressing any opinions, it would have been enough to accept it with, 
an expression of regret, but as you have thought tit to attack the party which has honour- 
ed me by electing me as its president and leader, it becomes my duty to dofend it. 

(( Before 1 come to the points you have laised, let me remind you of the circums- 
tances in which yon secured your election to the Assembly and subsequently joined the 
party. You say in your letter that you did not stand for election on the Swaraj party 
ticket. It is true that you were not announced as a Swarajist candidate and did not sign, 
the pledge. But the question is whether, in the events that have happened, you are not 
bound to the party in precisely the same manner as if you had been elected on the party 
ticket. The factb, as I have been able to ascertain them, are these : 

" In compliance with your wishes Kaizada Hans Raj handed to yon his resignation 
from the Assembly. After this an understanding was arrived at between you and him 
that you would support the Swaiaj party in the Assembly and help me in carrying out 
the policy and piogramme of the paity. In consequence of certain action that you took 
later, difficulties arose between you and Kaizada Hans Raj, who thought you were not 
acting in strict accoi dance with that understanding. 

*' Your difference with him on more occasions than one became so acute that the only 
alternative before you were either to accept the policy of the Congress or retire from the 
Assembly, Pressed to accept the draft resolution ot the C awn pore Congress relating to 
Councils, you eventually agreed to do eo if certain alterations suggested by you were 
accepted. On the final consideration of the draft, the majority of your suggestions were 
accepted and the resolution thus altered was subsequently passed by the Congress with 
your full concurrence and strong support. 

" In January last you formally joined the party. You say : In the matter of 
Council work, 1 made my position quite clear in the letter I wrote to the Secretary at 
the time of joining the party. 11 That letter is now before me, and I find that it only 
contains a repetition of the more important principles of the party without any reserva- 
tions. Yon said in that letter : ' As I read the rules of the party, I do not think my 
position is in any way inconsistent with them.* 

l( It will thus be clear that you seemed your election on assurances as binding as 
any formal pledge could have been, and that you actually joined the party unreservedly* 
From a 'gentleman of your great abilities and wide experience of public life it is only fair 
to expect that you did so uiter fully realizing the conbcquences of your action. You say : 
1 1 did so with the best motives in what 1 considered to be in the best interests of the 
country and the Congiess then, but after the experience of the last eight months I have 
come to the conclusion that, my hopes were not well founded,' 

" I have carefully read and re-read your letter but have failed to find anything in 
it which needed the experience of the last eight months to be realized and was not quite 
apparent at the time yon subscribed to the policy and programme of the Congress. 

- First Complaint. 

11 1 shall now take your points and deal with them 'seriatim. 1 Your first com- 
plaint is expressed in these words : ( The (Cawnpore) resolution was changed in one 
important particular, at least against my pioteet m March last, thereby ceasing to be 
binding on me at all 1 . I am surprised at this statement coming as it does from an eminent 
public man and lawyer of your standing. In all well regulated associations of men the 
resolutions passed irom time to time are liable to alteration or rescission as circumstances 
may require. I am not prepared to concede that such alteration or rescission by < 
majority against the will of a particular member can under any circumstances set that 
member free from the obligations he owes to the association to which he belongs. Assum- 
ing, however, that you had a right to renounce yonr allegiance to the party on that 
ground, you did not choose to exercise that right and deliberately waived it in what 'you 
call the interests of discipline, in any case it did not need the experience of six months 
which have since intervened to bring home to you that a necessary condition of your 
supporting the (Cawnpore) resolution had been broken. 

' ( . . Ostensible Object. 1 

Your next point is that the ostensible object of that retointion, so far at It related to; 
the wait-out tar -toiled to mlice, i do not know what you mean by the wtpnenfou 


1 oitenalble object, 1 as I only know the real object which was declared by me in no 
uncertain terms in my speech in the Assembly just before the walk-oat. From yoar next 
sentence, however, it appears that you regard * constructive work in the country ' as the 
ostensible object of the walk-out, and complain that it was neither nndertaken nor 
accomplished. If that he so, may 1 be permitted to ask what help you as a member of 
the party offered in undertaking or accomplishing that work, and is it open to you to 
blame yoar co- workers for an omission for which you were equally responsible with them ? 
You went away to Europe, leaving them to face the music of the Responsivists and other 
hostile parties, and the first thing you do on your return is to throw them to the wolves. 

" The unkindest out of all, however, is to b found in the sentence : The excep- 
tions to the walk-out were so many that it lost all its value.' You know that yon were 
the author of the exceptions, that yon pressed them in spite of being forewarned of the 
very consequences of which you now BO bitterly complain. And yet you make it a ground 
for leaving the party 1 

Remarkable Passage. 

" Then comes a passage in your letter remarkable not only for the truth it contains 
bat for the refreshing candour with which it is stated. It runs as follows : 

1 The fact that I was not in full agreement with you either at Cawnpor< or at Delhi 
has more then once forced itself upon me, but in my desire to remain with yon as long as 
possible I brushed it aside, until it has become quite clear that to continue as a member 
of the party is neither fair to you nor to myself. There are certain matters on which my 
differences with you are almost fundamental.* 

" May 1 in all humility ask you at what point of time during the last eight months 
you made this wonderful discovery ? Were you not aware, both at Cawnpore and at 
Delhi, that you were not in full agreement with me, and did you not, in spite of the 
knowledge either support me or acquiesce in what I did ? If you will pardon my saying 
go, the real trouble is that in the conditions prevailing in Oawnpore and Delhi yon were 
compelled to act in the way yon did, and under what yon believe to be the compelling 
force of the altered conditions prevailing to-day you think you are free to change yoar 

" Equally remarkble is the next passage in yoar letter which runs : * The angle of 
vision with which we two look at questions relating to matters on which the Hindus and 
the Muslims differ, is entirely different and often brings us into conflict/ 1 

Conflicting Views. 

"This again is a matter which you need not have taken eight months to discover and 
can hardly furnish any ground for the action you have taken. Our respective views 
are thoroughly well-known and have formed a subject of discussion between you and 
me for years past. The wonder is that, in spite of this great difference in the 'angle of 
vision' with which we look upon the Hindu-Muslim question, you managed to persuade 
yourself to work with me to the common good of both communities, though the way yonr 
own inclinations lay has been an open secret. 

"The next passage in your Irtter is a most characteristic contribution to the elec- 
tioneering propaganda of the Hindu Sabha. You say, *Slowly and gradually I have come 
to share the belief of many other Hindus that the Swaraj party as at present constituted 
and led is distinctly harmful to Hindus, not so much in the matter of their differences 
with the Muslims as it is intrinsically in matters between the Government and the Hindus. 
Walk-out has positively been more harmful to Hindus than to any other class of the 
community. Assuming that the Swaraj party in the Legislative Assembly consisted of 
40 to 60 members, their walk-out has deprived only five or six Muslim constituencies 
of the services of their representatives, while in the case of Hindus it has deprived the 
latter of about six or seven times that number. The result ie that by the walk-out of 
Swarajists, elected Hindus are in a much greater minority in the Assembly than they 
otherwise would be thereby rendering their representation in the Assembly entirely 

"Remarkable indeed must be the slow 1 and 'gradual 1 psychological progress which 
at the end of eight months discovered the true proportion of the Hindu and Muslim 
members in the Legislative Assembly. I am sure you are not doing justice to yourself 
if you mean to convey that the simple arithmetical calculation you rely upon in your 
letter in the above passage did not sfcnke you when you gave your assent to the walk-out 
actually participated in it. It is needless to point out to you that you have entirely 
missed the real point of the walk-out, though you mechanically participated in it. The 
Hindu-Muslim question has nothing whatever to do with it. The very next passage 


howl that all the time you were acting as a Swarajist yon were really thinking as a 
Moderate. You say : "There is a lot of business transacted in the Assembly which 
mainly affects Hindus and does not so much affect other communities. The Hindu consti- 
tuencies which returned us are tnus deprived of the services of their representatives to 
a much larger extent than any other class or community has been,'* 

"Without subscribing to the statement made in the first sentence of the above passage, 
it is only necessary to remind you that the Swaraj Party never undertook to render the 
kind of services you have in mind. It is only the Moderate or the Liberal who attaches 
any value to such services in the present condition of India. The task which a true 
Swarajist has laid out for himself is very different as you must have fully realized before 
you threw in your lot with him, 

Cl l am afraid you are very much over-doing it when you say : ' I consider this to 
be a breach of faith with the constituencies and I cannot any longer be a party to such 
a breach of faith with mine '. 

"Every Swarajist baa a clear conscience as to how be has kept faith with bis consti- 
tuency to which he promised nothing but a determined stand for full Swaraj. I cannot 
answer for those who believe that they have been guilty of a breach of faith with their 
constituencies and only make up their minds after eight months not to continue that 
breach of faith any longer.* 

"Yon make certain remarks about the necessity of our attending the remainder of 
the present session of the Assembly to take part in certain debates which you think are of 
'national importance.' We have now witnessed the end of one of those debates, namely, 
the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill which you call 'an encroachment on the 
liberties of the people ' In this connexion I have only to call your attention to the 
speech of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, your present comrade in arms in the battle 
of India's freedom. Ha has ungrudgingly given his blessings to the object, the propriety 
and the necessity of the measure which has since been passed into law with the votes 
of large number of elected representatives. I put it to yon to say what place a Swarajist 
oan possibly have in company like this. 

Sabarmati Pact. 

"The points I have dealt with above are all compressed in the first paragraph of your 
letter, which extends over three typed pages, and I have naturally had to devote greater 
time and space to answer them, The remaining paragraphs of your letter require very 
brief notice. Para 2 regarding the Sabarmati Pact : You say it was a mistake not 
to have confirmed it but have not favoured me with your own interpretation of the terms 
agreed upon. What was it that, in your opinion, should have been confirmed ? If the 
agreement was as I take it to be, who was in the wrong in not confirming it ? 

"I am glad to note that on the question of accepting offices your views remain 
unchanged and trust you will adhere to them at least for some time to come. If those 
vi ws are sound, as you must believe them to be, the taking of offices in the present cir- 
cumstances cannot but he detrimental to the true interest** of the country. How then 
can any settlement te "honourable 1 * which sacrifices those interests ? 

"Para 3, Running the elections by the Congress : Up to the time yon left India 
you were a stout champion of Congress candidates and put up a brave fight for them in 
the Hindu Sabha. You do not say what particular incident in the history of the last 
four months has revolutionised your ideas on the subject. 

Communal Subjects. 

"As for the resolution of the U. P. Provincial Congress Committee you refer to, you 
are now fully aware that it was the result of permitting a number of non-members to 
attend the meeting and vote for the resolution. The fraud has since been exposed and 
the Working Committee of the Congress has refused to look at the resolution. 

Para 4, Blocking Legislation by one community : You know that the resolution of 
the Working Committee referred to by you was passed in Calcutta in my absence under 
misapprehension, and is being recognised. As it stands, it only comes to a pious wish 
that all the Hindu Muslim members of the Legislature will agree not to bring up any 
communal subject, if three-fourths of the members of either community object to it. 
Members of the Congress party are asked to do their best to help in bringing about such 
agreement. You have seen the views I expressed at the Sabarmati meeting of the 
Working Committee on the subject and have expressed your full concurrence with them. 

"Para 6, Freedom of Action in Communal Matters : The Congress has never refused 
such freedom and is not likely to do so. There are at present no rules on the subject 
but the Congress manifesto shortly to be issued will make the position clear. 


"PftttL 6. The honest truth to that at present at least I cannot think on party lines : 
The statement would be unexceptionable if, instead of 'party Hues,' you had said 'Swaraj 
party lines, 1 You will agree with me that when it comes to stating the 'honed* truth 
after proclaiming it as such, one has to be very accurate in the language one employs. 
That you are to-day thinking on Hindu Sabha and Rrsponaive Co-opeiationi-t lines 
admits of no doubt. I hope therefore you will agree to the small correction I have 
suggested in your statement of the 'honest truth. 1 

4 'These are ail the points you have raised. Out of respect for you I have dealt with 
them as fully as it was possible in a letter. I do not expect you to change your mind in 
a hurry but am hopeful that 'slowly and gradually* you will find the faith that is in you 
and proclaim it to the world in no uncertain terms. For when all is said and done the 
central fact remains that you are as strongly opposed as I am to the taking of offices in the 
present circumstances. That is the one question which is now proving a stumbling biook 
in the way of all the political parties coming together. The rest can be easily settled 
ab the differences are more apparent than real. 

" It only remains for me to thank you for the personal note yon have struck in the 
concluding part of your letter and to assure yon that, whatever our differences of 
opinion may be, it will be my constant endeavour to maintain the friendly relations which 
have subsisted between us in the past. 11 

L a I a La j pat R a i ' s Rejoinder. 

My Dear Panditji , On the 30th of August at about 8 P.M. Lai a Girdhari Lai of 
Amritsar delivered to me your reply to my letter of resignation (bearing date 29th August). 
The reply is full of insinuations, and inuendoes half truths and misstatements which 
I cannot let go unnoticed and unanswered. 

First 2 paragraphs deal with the circumstances of my letter of resignation and 
contain the following unwarranted insinuations that while I wrote to you that no copy 
had been given to press and assured Mrs. Naidu that I was reconsidering my position 
and would probably withdraw the letter, I actually sent a copy to the "Piojj^r' 1 and 
obtained that journal's approval. The facts are as follows : I tendered my.* oa t*\' have/ 
on the 24th August but took back the letter of resignation from yon to r^ tne e i ec y 
verbal changes and to gt it properly typed after it had been read in the ^t up to tJi 
held that day, On the 25th began conversations between me and Pandit Malaviyajx ' do 
one hand and Mrs. Naidu and yourself on the other. On the 26th I sent you the doon 
ment with a note which you have reproduced in your letter under reply. The samf day 
I consulted Mrs. Naidu and Pandit Marian Mohan Malaviya in the conference room at 
Hotel Cecil, both being present at the time, if I should give a copy to the press. /litre. 
Dumaei M.L A., and others having asked ma for it several times). Both of them said "wait, 1 
1 never told Mrs. Naidu that I was considering my position and would probably with- 
draw the letter. On the 27th I told Mis. Naidu that I could not withhold my letter of 
resignation any longer as my act was liable to misconstruction. She raised no obj Action 
and I gave a copy to a roprebentative of the ''Associated Press" who happened to be 
there. After that day's conversions were over, I told Mrs. Naidu that m the copy I had 
given to the Associated Frees I had omitted words so as t,o remove the only offensive 
expression I had used. She approved of it. I sent no copy to the "Pioneer" nor gave 
it to any one else. As Mrs. Naidu was on her way to your room I had good reason to 
presume that she would inform you the step I had taken. The sting in your congratu- 
lation on the " Pioneers" comment is only an electioneering tactics. It does not come 
with good grace from a gentleman who had been the recipient of many praises from that 
and other Anglo-Indian journals for his level-header.! moderate politics in the Assembly. 
Yon have followed a course which was a judicious combination of moderation and 
extremism, a very proper thing to do as was evidenced by your speech relating to the 
desirability of Indian appeals being decided by the Privy Council in London rather 
than by an Indian Supreme Court in India and also by your support in the first stages 
of the Contempt of Courts Bill. Both these aQtions I presume had the approval on he 
'Pioneer 1 ' and the Government. I would rather avoid introduction of matter winch 
may add bitterness to this controversy and so will eay nothing more on this question for 
the present. < 

Distortion of ^acts. 

Next four paras of yonr letter deal with the circumstances in which I secured my 
election to the Assembly and subsequently joined the party. Statements made in these 
paras and the conclusions drawn therefrom are distortion of facts. You say ' in compliance 
with your wishes Raizada Hanaraj handed to yon iiie resignation from the Assembly 1 . After 



thii an undemanding was arrived at between you and him that yon would inpport the 
Swaraj Party in the Assembly and help me in carrying out the policy and programme of 
the party. This is not the correct statement of what happened. There was no inch 
understanding about the policy and programme of the Swaraj Party either before or 
after the resignation. In the announcement which Eaizada Sahib made in his resignation 
ill the press, hf never mentioned it but even if an understanding was arrived at, as you 
say, after the resignation had been handed, it shows that the resignation was uncondi- 
tional and that subsequent underbtanding did not amount to a promise to join the Swaraj 

Support to Swaraj Party. 

Ai for helping you, you know that I had been doing so ail through 1923, 1924 and 
1925 even when I did not agree with you in full nor was a member of your party. I 
carried on conversations with the Labour Government to advance your proposals. I was 
elected a member of the Assembly on the 9th December. I received the news at Bombay 
where I had gone to preside over the Bombay Hindu Provincial Conference. You were 
also there and to the best of my recollection I attended the conference that was being held 
there between the responsivists and yourself for a compromise. There was no talk of my 
joining the Swaraj Party. Then came the Cawnporc Congress. You say " pressed to accept 
the draft resolution of the Cawpore Congress relating to Councils you eventually agreed 
to do so if certain alterations suggested by you were accepted on the final consideration 
of the draft. The majority of your suggestions were accepted and resolutions thus altered 
was subsequently passed by the Congress with your full concurrence and strong support. 1 * 
This statement would be quite correct if you omitted the 'words full and strong'. The speech 
that I made at Cawnpore is the best evidence of it. But then the question arises as to why 
you accepted the changes suggested by me if you did not approve of them. However, we 
will leavfc this matter here. You have passed over the subsequent delay in joining the 
Party. The Assembly was opened on the 19th of January and it was not till the 25th ot 
JannarV *At I joined the Party. 

No Formal Pledge, 

I joined the party are given in the letter which I addressed to 
at line time. In the letter under reply you are pleased to remark that it contain! 
repetition of the principles of the party without any reservations. That letter has now 
been published in the press and I leave it to the country to ]udge if I have in any way 
acte^f against the letter or the spirit of the statements contained therein. I expressly 
said *M-.--iin that I believed in Council work and did not believe in wholesale obstruction. 
Under the circumstances your statement that I secured my election on the assurances as 
binding as ari.y formal pledge could have been and that I actually joined the party un- 
reservedly is -(entirely unwarranted. The truth is that you wanted my support and I 
promised to giv\e it on certain terms. You accepted the terms then, bnt deliberately violated 
one of them at Utelhi. But you are law in yourself as is proved by various actions 
you have taken s&ace the elections of 1923 beginning with your manifesto and ending 
with your acquiescence in Mr. > Patel not walking out with you in compliance with the 
Cawnpore resolution. I personally think that Mr. Patel was right in not walking out 
and it would have been a breacLh of faith to compel him to do so after the support the party 
had given him in his election as such. But you did not think so. Consistency or 
inconsistency of a certain conduce is a varying item differing with an amount of legal 
acumen and intellectual cleverness possessed by a man who pronounces on it. The reason 
why I supported the Cawnpore resolution and subsequently joined the party was that 
of all parties then existing it wan on the whole the party with which I most agreed. 
Even at Cawnpore I was in favour of eliminating the clause relating to office and thus 
preventing walk-oat of the repponif'vists from your party but on your insisting on keep- 
ing it, 1 gave in inasmuch as it did not involve any violation of the principles. In the 
matter of consistency and inconsistency and changes in political practice, I am quite 
prepared to leave my record as compared with anyone else to the judgment of the people, 
nor am I ashamed of the lessens I have learnt from experience and consequent changes in 
my opinions. You say * in all well regn lated associations of men resolutions passed from 
time to time are liable to alteration or 'rescission as circumstances may require*. I am not 
prepared to concede that such alterations or rescissions by a majority against the will 
of a particular member can under any 'circumstance set that member free from the obliga- 
tions be owes to the association to which he belongs. I do not accept the full validity of 
this principle bnt whatever validity i^ does possess lasts only for the period one retains 
the membership of the association. Otherwise it would be impossible for any man to validly 



sever his connection with any association with the decisions of which he did not agiet 
The whole bnrrten of your criticism lies in the fact that I did not join with you in walk 
ing out inspite of the alterations in the resolution made against my wishes at Delhi. I 
have already said in my resignation letter that I did so with the desire of pulling on 
with you as long as it was possible fof me to do so. You say nothing has happened since 
then which I did not know or could not know beforehand. You have ignored that this 
was my first experience of a legislative chamber and I did not know many things which 
I have learnt since. You are not quite correct about the clause relating to exceptions. It 
is not right to say that that clause was put in for my Fake. I did no doubt support it 
strongly but so did the reprebentatives of Bengal, United Provinces, Madras and Bombay. 
They insisted on having that clause. All walk-ins took place in my absence from 
India and I did not participate in any decision relating to them. I am of opinion that 
these exceptions should have convinced you that further l4 walk-out" from the Assem- 
bly on the 23rd August was not necessary. 1 have not advanced the fact of many '' walk- 
ins " as a ground for my resignation, but as against your refusal to attend the Assembly 
for the consideration of matters which were even more important than those for which 
permission had been granted. 

On page 6 of your letter you remaik that " all the time you were acting as a Swarajist, 
you were really thinking as moderate. 1 ' If thought is evidenced by action then all I can 
say is that most of the time your party have been acting in the Assembly and the Coun- 
cils as moderates while camouflaging all the time that you were not. The whole record of 
the Assembly proceedings shows that the work of the Swaraj Paity in the Assembly was 
as I have already said a judicious combination of 'moderate' and 'obstructionist 1 
mentality and that was the right thing to do. Yet, m your anxiety to avoid the charge, you 
have tried to show yourself oft. perhaps for electioneering purp ^ses as consistent and 
persistent obstructionist. 

Hindu Sabha Mentality. 

Your observation about ray attitude towards the Hindu Sabha are a carious otch 
patch of tinths and half tiuths. In one place you condemn or take exc^ion to my 
Hindu Sabha mentality and point to it with a finger of scorn. You aU hat I have 
said certain things in the letter which arr a most characteristic contnbuti /<' the elec- 
tioneering propaganda of the Hindu Sabha. In another place you u^Y<f*t up to the 
time I lett India I was a stout champion of Congress candidates and put up a brave 
fight for them m the Hindu ttabba. Both these statements are overdone. In the Hindu 
Sabba 1 fought for a principle. I stood for Hindu Sabha running no candidates, leaving 
to different political parties in the country to do so. On the Hindu Sabha platform 
I made no distinction between one political party and another. As regards the change 
in my attitude I am not the only poison who has found out that it was in an unfortunate 
moment that we voted for Congress running elections in its own name and by its 
agency. This opinion is shared by some of the most important members of the Congress, 
Their list is growing. 

Your remark that you ' could not answer for those who believe that they have been 
guilty of a breach of faith with their constituencies and only make up their minds after 
eight months not to continue that bieach of faith any longer 1 is only a quibble. The 
breach of faith is involved in continued absence from Councils and Assembly and the 
8 months refeience has nothing to do with it. All parties are agreed that the events of 
the last 4 or 5 months (trace the \salk-out, though not owing to it) have changed the whole 
aspect of things in the country and we could not assume the same indifference to work in 
legislatures now as * walk-out 1 in Mai ch involved. 1 llaxik you for the correction you 
suggest in my paragraph 6. 1 would adopt it with a slight alteration. Instead of party 
lines, I should have said ' such party lines as are laid down by Pandit Motilal ' but on 
the merits of my suggestion I si ill think that it would be the best to agree that can- 
didatures of some persons should not be opposed to whichever party they may belong. 

As for the fling on Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya for his speech on the Criminal 
Procedure Code Amendment Bill I am sorry you should have thought it fit to indulge 
in it. I never at-ked you or your party to follow Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 
the Assembly. What I asked you was to attend the Assembly to defend the liberties of 
the press and the people. What IK your own opinion about the Bill ? Do you differ from 
Malaviya ji on that point and how it, fling consistent with +he convocations you are 
having with Pandit Madan Mohi. Maiuviya lor an understanding '/ If you have no place in 
a * company ' like this, then why have you been trying for a compromise with him ? AM 
for myself, 1 have always frit honoured by associating with Pandit Madan Mohan 
Malaviya, I do not agree with him in all matteri, Sometime! J differ from him rtdl* 


cally, but I consider him to be one of the two greatest personalities in the country. The 
only regret is that you cannot share that sentiment. 

The most important fact that has happened since the' walk-out ' in March last was 
the Sabarmati Pact. The essence of that pact was that the question of offices be kept 
open in terms of a pact to be decided in the first instance by members of the party in 
the legislature concerned and afterwards confirmed by you and Mr. Jayakar. When 
occasion aiose, conditions mentioned by yon were to be accepted for the purpose of negoti- 
ations, but were not binding in every detail, so far as I was concerned. What mattered 
to me most was your agreement with the Responsivists. I considered and still consider 
that an agreement to work together is the most essential and most desirable thing to bring 
about in the interests of the country at the present moment. 

In the end let me assure you what 1 have always acted on ( faith in me ' though 
at times I have felt that faith in me had led me into the paths which I now consider 
were unpractical in the circumstances of the country. 1 have always been frank in my 
statements and hope to be so m future. I am not ashamed of the changes. I am not a 
' die hard * in any sense of the term and I do not put my personal opinion over every one 
else. Let me appeal to you in the best interest of the country not to allow personal 
bitterness to enter into our political differences. We are fighting for a sacred cause. We 
may differ in methods, but our goal is same. However apart we may remain we are one 
in essence and god willing, we shall join hands in many a fight for the good of the 
country. Let me in all humility tell you that words are sometimes sharper and more 
piercing than arms and weapons. Wounds caused by the later are easily healed but not 
BO by the others. Let us not use biting language against each other. Let us fight a 
clean fight, if fight we must. It is with the greatest regret that I part from you and 
hope, we shall maintain our personal relations untainted by feelings of bitterness. 1 * 

Pt. Nehru's Second Letter. 

On the 4th September Pt, Nehru sent a reply to the rejoinder of Lala 
Lajpat Rai which he concluded as his last unwilling contribution to the un- 
becoming controversy. The following is the text : 

Your letter of 1st September was handed to me yesterday. It is obviously not in 
the interest of the cause we both have at heart to prolong this correspondence. I should 
therefore have remained content with merely acknowledging your letter, had it not been 
for the fact that you have accused me of insinuation and muendoes, half-truths and 
miestatements. I should have thought that if I erred at all, it was in extreme directness 
of statements I made and am not a little surprised at the classical phrases you have used. 
1 hit straight when I do, though not always as bard as I should. The full texts of our 
letters have been published and it will be easy tor the discerning public to pick ont the 
insinuations and inuendoee, half-truths and mis-statements, wherever they are to be found. 
I shall only deal with the cbaiges you bring against me in your last letter, though they 
are hardly germane to your resignation, which is the one subjt ct we are at present 
concerned with. You have read an insinuation in a simple explanation for the delay 
that took place in my replying to your letter of 24th August delivered to me on 26th. 
If you carefully read the second paragraph of my letter of the 29th again, you will see 
that there is no suggestion that von had actually sent a copy of your letter to the press 
on or before the 26th. All I then said was that I was infoimed only on the evening of 
the 28th that you had handed your letter to the press which was the absolute truth. I 
made no point of the exact time and relied only on the fact of your letter having been 
given for publication which made it unnecessary to delay my leply any longer. As for 
your remark that my leference to the comment of the " Pioneer " was only an electionee- 
ring tactics ", all 1 need say is that I do not build my hopes on such a slender foundation. 
Oar own weighty utterances of recent date afford tufficient material to support my election 
campaign and will be thankfully used when necessary. I am not aware of having 
received any praises for my " level headed moderate politics " by Anglo-Indian journals 
during the last 20 years or more. If you will refresh your memory by looking up back 
numbers of the journals yon refer to, yon will, I am sure, find that praise, if any, was 
given for something else. There are many subjects on which I agree with my European 
and Anglo-Indian friends but I am afraid, politics is not one of them. It will be a happy 
day for India when they begin to see eye to eye with me on that subject also. 

Moderation and Extremism Combined. 

Yon see a combination of moderation and extremism in my speeches in the debates 
on the establishment of a Supreme Court of Appeal in India and the Contempt of Courts 


Bill. It does not strike you that I refused to play to the gallery on those, as I have 
done on many other occasions. My remaiks were based on 40 years' experience of the 
working of the courts in India and it is only necessary to add that there is not a word 
in the speeches you refer to that I need withdraw now. Yot have characterised my state- 
ment of the circumstances attending your election to the Assembly as a " Distortion of 
facts ". Those facts were stated by me on the authority of Raizada Hans Raj. I have 
no personal knowledge of them and am open to correction. 

But my difficulty is that you have evaded the real issue and do not deny the central 
facts of my statement, viz., (1) that Raizada Hans Raj resigned at your request to make 
room for you (2) that there was at some time an understanding betwen ?oa and him as 
to your attitude in the Assembly : (3) that differences subsequently arose between you 
and him and in consequence there was a talk of your resigning your seat in the Assem- 
bly ; (4) that when alterations in the Congress resolution suggested by you were accepted, 
all differences were removed. It is possible that I misunderatood Raizada Hans Raj in 
some particular and if you deny these central facts I will readily accept your denial 
and humbly apologise to you for my mistake. You do not say that there was no 
understanding at all between you and Raizada Hans Raj but simply deny that there was 
any understanding about the policy and programme of the Swaraj Party. You then 
advance the legal argument that even if there was the understanding mentioned by 
me after the Raizada tendered his resignation, it " did not meau a promise to join the 
Swaraj Party and then casually say, " As for helping you, you know that I have 
been doing so all through 1923, 1924 and 1925." The only inference I can draw 
from this is that the understanding between Raizada Hana Rai and yourself was 
that yon would help me in the Assembly. It is obvious that the only way in which 
you could have helped me was by helping the policy and programme of the Swaraj 
Party. It is therefore clear that whatever were the woids used the true intent and 
meaning were what I stated in my letter of the 29th. You will agree that the help 
which a member of the Assembly undertakes to give to the leader of a party in that 
Legislative Assembly is in its nature very different to what an outside critic does in sup- 
porting the party generally. Besides, during the years 1923 to 1925, your politics did not 
follow a uniform course and your hostility to the Congress was ever on the increase. 
As for the legal argument you have advanced I can only express my surprise at your 
urging it. In legal phraseology, it can only amount to this that the understanding 
being ( ex post facto *, it was bad for want of consideration, but you forgot that though 
the resignation of Raizada Hans Raj bad been tendered, he had set himself up for re- 
election and that the want of any understanding might possibly have affected his 
withdrawal from election, which I am informed ouly took place after an understanding 
had been arrived at. However that may be, I should have thought that the plighted 
word of a public man did not need legal consideration to be binding on him. 1 have 
been led into these consideration by your legal argument, but as I have said I shall 
take your denial of the four central fact I have mentioned above as conclusive and 
throw myself entirely on your mercy. I thank you for the conversations you carried on 
with the Labour Government to advance my proposals without fully agreeing with me or 
being a member of my party, but I fail to see what bearing that act of disinterested 
service has on your resignation, after becoming a full-fledged member of the party. 

Mr. Patel Brought in. 

Yon drag in Mr. Vithalbhai Patel into the controversy and Indulge in other re- 
criminations which are wholly foreign to the subject of this correspondence and 1 must 
decline to enter into them. I cannot, however, pass over your interpretation of my 
reference to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya as a "fling" on him. You know very 
well that all I meant was that there was no place for any Swarajist in the company of 
politicians of the school of thought to which Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya or the 
elected members who voted for the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) bill belonged. 
There was no personal reflection either on Panditji or others, all of whom are honourable 
men acting according to their best lights. All the same no Swarajist has any place 
among them. Yon are entirely wrong when you say that I do not share with yon the 
sentiments of respect and esteem which you have for Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. 

It is a course of Indian politics that political opponents allow their personal relations 
to be affected by their political opinions. I am thankful to say that the curse has not 
fallen upon me and that I am at this moment in the happy position of counting some ef 
my bitterest political opponents as my best personal friends. As for Malaviya}?, I do not 
even call him my political opponent, for we are working for the same goal though we have 
token different roadi to retch it, Bat while I do not yield to jon or to any one else in my 


high regard for the character and personality of Malaviya, the fact remains, that I cannot 
bear hie company on the road he has chosen. I hope and trust that during the long 
years we have known each other, Malaviya has come to understand me better than you 
have done. I do not know what is your authority for suggesting that I did not differ 
from Malaviya in the view he took of the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill. I 
have had no consultation with you, Maiaviya, or tor that matter, any one else on the 
merits of the Bill. I remember that I ouce made a casual remark in his presence and 
perhaps also yours that the Bill sought to extend the powers already possrbsed by th 
Executive. If that observation conveyed the impresfcion that power already vested in the 
Executive or the further extension of it aimed at by the Bill was right and proper, I can 
only say that it is thoroughly unwarranted. 1 see no mcoiibihtcncy in ray agreeing to take 
part in conversations arranged by Mrs. Sarojim Naidu with Pandit Marian Mohan Mam- 
viya and yourself. There would be no nerd ot such conversations if w did not matcnalJy 
differ with each other. The icmaindcr of your letter contains nothing but special pleading 
in which I do not wish to follow your example. 1 am content to have the judgment of the 
country on what 1 have already placed befoie it. 

The Actual Position. 

The actual position in regard to the resignation, as I find it. to-day, may be stated 
in a very few words. You first put your decision to leave the ftwaiaj Party on the 
groind of experience gamed during the laM eight, montliH, when I showed in my reply 
that nothing had happened in this momentous period ol eight mouths which did not know 
already or could not reasonably have foieeeen you. You shifted your ground and 
pleaded inexperience of the Assembly presumably to justify your inability to anticipate 
the necessary consequences of >our being there as a member ot the party. 

You were hardly able to adjust yourself to this position, when if 1 may make a 
shrewd guess, the phantom of Bradlangh Hall rose before your eyes and made it impos- 
sible for you to hold it, for had you not delivered a great speech in that hall after you had 
learnt " the many things " which you did not know before entering the Assembly, and 
had you not in that f-pcech put in a vigorous defence of the policy and programme of the 
Swaraj party ? You felt that the plea of inexperience was of no help at all and quickly 
retraced ycur steps, but found no bhelrer except m the still-born Sabarmati Pact and 
tried to infuic life into its dead remains. Finally, you blamed even the faith in you as 
a guide which had led you into unpractical parts. I leave the matter at that. Before 1 
close let me congratulate you on the opinion you have expressed of yourself in the 
concluding portion of your letter and tliank you for the advice you have so kindly given. 
But let me remind you of the old baying that " example is better than pitcept." 

This is my jast unwilling contubution to the uiibecrrmng cmitioversy started by 
the publication of your letter of resignation. I am not yet aware that, your second letter 
has been published m the press. If 1 see it in the papers, later on, 1 shall send this letter 
also for publication, 

The Independent Congress Party Formed. 

The efforts at a compromise with the Swaraj paity made by Pandit 
Madan Mohan Malaviya having failed, an informal meeting of prominent 
Congressmen from the Punjab, United Provinces, Central Provinces and 
Bengal and promineiit members of the Responsive Co-operation party from 
Bengal, Maharashtra, Bombay, Central Provinces and Berar was held at the 
Birla House, Delhi on the llth and 12th September 1926. Those present 
on the first day ircluded Pandit Malaviya, Lala Lnjpat Rai (Panjab), 
Mr. B. Chakravarthi, Mr. D, P. Khaita?}, Mr. Eanglal Jajodhia and Mr. S. C. 
Bhattacharya (Bengal), Mr. Raghavendra Rao, Dr. Moonji, Dr. Cholkar, 
and Mr. Aney (C. P.), Ra]a Sir Rampal Singh and Pandit Hridaya- 
nath Kunzru (U. P.) and Mr. B. Das (Orissa). Mr. Jayakar, the leader of 
the Beaponsive Co-operation party attended the meeting on the second day, 


Pandit Motilal Nehru did not attend the Conference, but sent through 
Messrs. Girdhari Lai and Asaf Ali, replies which he had received from a 
number of prominent Swarajists in response to his recent message com- 
municating the terms of Pandit Malaviya for the United Congress party. 
The replies received were all confidential, but it appeared that Pandit 
Motilal's party * wanted both Responsivists and Independent Congressmen 
to sign the Congress pledge and thereby enable the forthcoming elections 
to be run by one united party leaving the question of policy and pro- 
gramme to be adopted in the legislatures for decision by the Assam 
Congress in December. This reply from Pandit Mofcilal was considered 
by the conference as forming no basis for an expected fusion of all 
parties. The conference, therefore, proceeded to discuss the coalition 
between Responsivists and Independent Congressmen. 

After a prolonged deliberation it was decided to form a central board 
consisting of the members of both parties which would shortly define a 
common policy and undertake to run candidates for the elections to the 
Assembly and provincial legislatures. Lists of candidates proposed for Ben- 
gal, United Provinces arid one or two other provinces were then examined 
and some alterations made. Final discussion as regards both policy and 
selection of candidates was held on the next day, the 12th September when 
after seven hours' discussion, at which Mr. Jayakar and Mr. Joseph Baptista 
were present, it was resolved to form an Independent Congress Party 
as a separate organisation within the Congress. The Responsive Co-opera- 
tion Party was to fully co-operate with it at the forthcoming elections to 
legislatures, though continuing to function independently wherever it existed, 
namely in the Central Provinces, Bombay and Bengal, The following re- 
solutions were adopted : 


" Whereas the opinion of the country in matters political has undergone 
a considerable change since the Indian National Congress held its session at 
Cawnpore, and whereas the general trend of opinion seems to be opposed to 
the policy of uniform, continuous and consistent obstruction in the legisla- 
tures, and whereas the said policy of wholesale obstruction has failed to 
bring about the expected result and has led the Swarajya Party into futile 
and harmful paths, and whereas the policy of walk-out has been a complete 
failure, and whereas the present executive of the Indian Nitional Congress 
is not prepared to call a special session of the Congress to obtain the mandate 
of the country on the questions now agitating the public mind, and whereas 
all efforts made by Pandit Madan Mohan Mahviya to arrive at harmony and 
unity between the two wings of the Congress have failed, and whereas, under 
the circumstances, the only course left open to such members of the Con* 
gress as do not agree with the Swarajist policy and programme is to form 
themselves into a separate party within the Congress with a view to (a) 
obtain the mandate of the country at the forthcoming elections to the legis- 
latures, and (b) to obtain the mandate of the Congress at its next session at 

"It is hereby resolved that a party to be called the Independent Con- 
gress Party be formed of those members of the Congress who do not agree 
with the policy and programme laid down by the Congress from time to time 
in respect) of work within the legislatures ; (2) that the policy of the party 


will be to work the legislatures, defective though their constitution is, for all 
they are worth and vising them for accelerating the establishment of full 
responsible Government and for protecting and promoting in tbe meanwhile 
the interest of the people and strengthening their power of resistance to 
injustice and misrule ; (3) it will be open to this party to accept offices 
provided the power, responsibility and initiative necessary for the effective 
discharge of their duties are secured to the Ministers, sufficiency of such 
power, responsibility and initiative being decided by a majority of the mem- 
bers of the party within the legislature concerned ; (4) this party will work 
in full concert and co-operation with the Responsive Co-operation Party 
leaving, however, that party further to function independently wherever 
it exists ; and (5) in all cases of council discord it will be the duty of the 
members of this party to bring about reasonable agreement between the 
contending sections ; but, in cases, where such an agreement is not approved 
every member of the party will be free to vote in the legislature in any 
manner he may think right and proper ". 

Prominent members of the Responsive Co-operation Party who were 
present at the discussion expressed their willingness to fully co-operate 
with this party and in token thereof will join as members of that party 
after a resolution to that effect is passed by the Executive Committee of 
their party. 

The Cause of the Breakdown. 

Pandit Motilal Nehru, before leaving Delhi on his election campaign 
sent the following to the Associated Press. With reference to the negotiations 
between Pandit Malaviya and himself which, however, had broken down, 
the Pandit said : 

" There were informal conversations at Simla, between Pandit Madan 
Mohan Malaviya and Lala Lajpat Rai on the one side and Mrs. Naidu and 
myself on the other, to explore the possibility of an understanding to run 
the elections on a joint ticket. No such understanding could be arrived at, 
but as I was leaving Simla on the 4th September to start the election cam- 
paign at Meerut, certain suggestions were made by Pandit Madan Mohan 
Malaviya which I agreed to communicate to some of the prominent mem- 
bers of my party to ascertain their wishes. It was understood that the 
election activities on either side were not to be affected. Accordingly, I 
wired to various provinces and opened my election campaign at Meerut on 
the 4th September under the mandate of the Cawnpore Congress without 
any reference to the suggestion of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on the 
action I had taken. By the time I arrived in Delhi on the 9th, replies to 
my telegrams had been received. These were shown to Pandit Madan 
Mohan Malaviya on his arrival on the llth. He was informed that having 
regard to the nature of the replies and my opinion about his suggestions, 
no useful purpose could be served by continuing the conversations. I have 
received several enquiries on the subject and have come to know that there 
has been slackening of election work on the part of the Congressmen on 
account of these conversations. I am sorry that this has been so and take 
this opportunity to request all Congressmen to apply themselves to the 
work before them with their usual energy and assiduity. No compromise 
has been arrived at or is likely iu the near future ", 


The Party's Manifesto. 

Theffollowing is the manifesto of the Independent Congress Party issued 
from Allahabad on the 28th September 1926 : 

" Whereas the opinion of the country in matters political has undergone a 
considerable change since the Indian National Congress held its session at 
Cawripore, and whereas the general trend of public opinion seems to be 
opposed to the policy of uniform, continuous and consistent obstruction in 
the legislatures, and whereas the said policy of indiscriminate obstruction 
to the extent it was followed has failed to bring about the desired result 
and has led the Swaraj Party into futile and harmful paths, and whereas 
the policy of the walk-out has been a complete failure, and whereas the 
present executive of the Indian National Congress is not prepared to call 
a special session of the Congress to obtain the mandate of the country on 
the question now agitating the public mind, and whereas all efforts to bring 
about harmony and unity between the two wings of the Congress have failed 
and whereas under the circumstances, the only course left open to such 
members of the Congress as do not agree with the Swarajists' policy and 
programme is to form themselves into a separate party within the Congress 
with a view (a) to obtain the mandate of the country at the forthcoming 
elections to the legislatures and (b) of the Congress at its next session at 
Gauhati as regards tho policy which should be pursued by the representatives 
of the people in the legislature, it is hereby resolved (l) that a party to be 
called the Independent Congress Party be formed of those members of the 
Congress who do not agree with the policy and programme laid down by the 
Congress at Cawnpore in respect of work within the legislature ; (2) that the 
policy of the Party will bo to work the legislatures, defective though their 
constitution is for all they are worth and to use them for accelerating the 
establishment of Swaraj or full responsible government and for protecting 
and promoting, in the meanwhile, the interests of the people and strengthen- 
ing their power of resistance to injustice and misrule ; (3) that it will be 
open to this Party to accept office provided the power, responsibility and 
initiative necessary for the effective discharge of their duties are secured 
to the Ministers, the efficiency of such power, responsibility arid initiative 
being decided by a majority of the members of the Party within the legisla- 
ture concerned, subject to such general conditions as the All-India Executive 
of the Party may lay down ; (4) that this Party will work in concert with 
the Responsive Co-operation Party leaving, however, that Party free to 
function separately wherever it exists ; (5) that in all questions of a communal 
character, it will be the duty of the members of this Party to promote a 
reasonable agreement between the contending sections. Where such an 
agreement is not arrived at, such member of the Party will be free to act in 
the lexislatures as he may consider best in the interest of the community to 
which he belongs ". 

The Nehru Malaviya Negotiations. 

In view of the breakdown of the negotiations between Pandit Malaviya 
and Pandit Motilal Nehru, resulting in the formation of an Independent 
Congress Party, it will be interesting to know the details of the terms pro- 
posed by Pandit Malaviya for acceptance by the Swarajists. The terms 
run ai follows : 



"(1) In provincial legislatures, no member of the Congress Party will 
accept any office under the Government unless the Government release or 
bring to trial those who are detained in prisons under the Bengal Ordinance 
and unless the other conditions for the acceptance of offices are considered 
satisfactory by a majority of the elected members of the party in the legisla- 
ture concerned and approved by a Central Committee of the party of not 
more than 9 members. 

" (2) The policy to be pursued by the Congress Party in the Council 
will be one of utilising the Councils for securing an early establishment of 
responsible government in India and for protecting and promoting in the 
meanwhile, the interests of people so far as this can be done under the 
present defective constitution, i. e,, a policy of discriminating obstruction. 

" (3) In the Central Legislature, the policy to be followed will be the 
same as that laid down in para 2 with this addition that until the national 
demand is granted to emphasise the Congress Party's continuing protest 
against the existing constitution and its insistence on the national demand, 
the party will throw out every year the item of the bud get relating to the 
Executive Council of the Government of India. Here Pandit Malaviya 
adds : ' I think it may be possible further to agree to throw out the Finance 
Bill as a protest against the existing high expenditure of the Gorernment 
until that expenditure is brought down to what the party considers reason- 
able. When this can be done without injury to the interests of the people 
of the country at least, I will try to bring about an agreement if it can unite 
the two parties '. 

" (4) When an agreement is not arrived at on any communal question 
every member of the party will be free to vote as he may think right and 

" (6) Candidates will be put up as Congress candidates. 

" (6) A joint committee to revise the names of candidates for election 
to the Legislative Assembly and the Councils, the committee to consist of 
Pandit Motilal, Mr. S. Srinivasa lyengar, Mr. T. Prakasam, Pandit Malaviya, 
Mr. Jayakar, Lala Lajpat Rai, Mr. B. Chakravartbi and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu". 

Pandit Motilal's Statement. 

Apropos Pandit Malaviya's statement, Pandit Motilal Nehru issued 
the following statement to the Associated Press on the 1 5th September : 

" I am surprised to see that the details of the terms proposed by Pandit 
Madan Mohan Malaviya for acceptance by the Swarajists have been published 
in&pite of an understanding that the conversations held at Simla were to be 
treated as strictly confidential. The various press messages which preceded 
the publication of these terms created the impression that there was to be a 
further meeting between the Responsivists and the Swarajists in Delhi and 
that it was wrong on my part to leave Delhi on the very day of the meeting 
without attending it. As these messages, taken with the publication of a 
part only of the conversations, are calculated to prejudice the public mind 
against the Swarajists, I am no longer bound by the understanding referred 
to above and must put all the facts before the public. 

At the very first meeting at the Hotel Cecil in Simla, I made it quite 
clear to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lala Lajpat Rai that I regarded 


two points as essential; (l) that tbere was no question of accepting offices 
without some advance being made by the Government and (2) that the con- 
ditions upon which it would be possible to accept offices should be clearly 
specified in writing and not left to any committee. I also insisted that such 
conditions should be widely published. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and 
Lala Lajpat Rai thought they conld not accept these essentials without a 
reference to Messrs. Jayakar, Kelkar and others which they promised to 
make by telegraph or telephone without delay. Meanwhile, it was agreed 
to discuss the conditions which should be fulfilled before acceptance of offices. 
I was ready with these conditions and at once handed copies of a typed draft 
to those preset. This draft ran as follows. The essential conditions are : 


(1) The general principles and policy laid down in resolution 7-B. passed 
by the Cawnpore Congress shall be adhered to. 

(2) Substantial compliance with the national demand contained in the 
resolutions passed by the Assembly on the 18th February, 1924 and 8th 
September, 1925 shall be insisted on. 


(3) No office under the Crown shall be accepted by any member of the 
Party unless and until the Government agrees to take the following or other 
steps having substantially the same or similar effect, (a) The release or 
trial according to law of all political prisoners who are at present detained 
without being tried and convicted in due course of law ; (b) the repeal of 
all repressive laws ; (c) the removal of all disqualifications now imposed on 
persons who have served the sentences passed on their conviction of any 
offences for standing for election to elected bodies in the country ; (d) the 
abolition of non-official nominations to membership to the Councils and 
throwing open the seats of nominated non-official members to election : (e) 
giving ministers full control over the Transferred departments subject only 
to the Governor's constitutional right of veto and making the ministers fully 
responsible to the legislature in the administration of their respective depart- 
ments ; and (f) fixing a minimum proportion of the revenue of the province 
for the development of nation-building departments under the charge of 
ministers without imposing additional burden on the people, 

(4) Until the Government agrees to take the steps mentioned, the 
Party in every provincial legislature shall be bound to resort to a policy of 
refusal of supplies in the manner and to the extent that may be decided upon 
at a party meeting. 


(5) The Party in the Assembly shall, until there is a sufficient response 
to the national demand as contained in the resolutions of the Assembly 
referred to above, (a) resort to a policy of refusal of supplies and put it into 
operation in the manner and to the extent that may be decided upon by a 
meeting of the Party ; (b) throw out all legislative measures which tend to 
curtail the rights of the people ; (c) move resolutions and introduce and 
support measures and bills which are necessary for the healthy growth o 
national life and the advancement of the economical agricultural, industrial 


and commercial interests of the country ; and (d) generally protect the rights 
of labour, agricultural and industrial, and adjust the relations between land- 
lords and tenants and capitalists and workers. 


(6) The Party shall adhere to the Lucknow Pact until there is a general 
agreement between Hindus and Mussalmans to abandon or modify it, 

(7) No Bill, motion or amendment relating to any communal matter 
shall be moved by any member of the Party in any legislature, if a majority 
of three-fourths of the Hindu or the Muslim members of the Party in the 
said legislature are opposed to the introduction of such bill, motion, or 

(8) If any such bill, motion or amendment of a communal character is 
moved by a member of the legislature not belonging to the Party, all mem- 
bers of the Party, shall have full freedom of speech and vote. 

(9) Constituting a Committee to determine what is and what is not 

At an early stage it was agreed to delete the first paragraph which had 
reference to Civil Disobedience as it did not properly come within the Council 
programme. The remaining conditions were discussed at two or three 
subsequent meetings, but no agreement was arrived at ai.d eventually the 
conversations were dropped as Messrs. Jayakar, Kelkar and others did not 
agree to the publication of all the conditions. When at Mahasu, taking a 
few days rest, I was asked by Mrs. Sarojini Naidu on the telephone to spare 
time for a final talk with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya on the afternoon 
of the 4th September, just before leaving Simla, I agreed and met Malaviyaii 
in the Assembly building at 2 p.m. He then dictated the terms now 
published to a friend. I told Malaviyaji that he knew n?y opinion, that the 
conditions for acceptance of office must be clearly laid down and I pointed 
out to him the impossibility of a general revision of the lists of candidates at 
that stage. Thereupon, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu suggested that I might consult 
some of the leading Congressmen on Pandit Malaviya's suggestions to which 
I agreed. Accordingly, I sent the following telegram to a number of friends 
in the United Provinces, Bengal, Central Pioviuces, Bombay, Maharashtra 
and Madras and promised to let Malaviyaji know their replies : 

Text of Pandit Nehru s Telegram. 

" Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya offers the following terms of compro- 
mise : 

"Provincial Legislature Firstly no acceptance of office unless Bengal 
detenues released or tried and such other conditions fulfilled at a Joint 
Committee of nine consisting of four Swarajists, four Eesponsivists and the 
Congress President may determine. Secondly, adoption of a policy of 
discriminate obstruction. Thirdly, the same Joint Committee to revise the 
list of candidates already nominated. Fourthly, liberty to vote on communal 
questions unless members of both communities agree. Fifthly, all candi- 
dates to be put up as Congress candidates. 

" The Central Legislature : The policy of discriminate obstruction and 
throwing out the budget defiaatd relating to the Executive Council aa a 


protest against no response to the national demand. Pandit Malaviya also 
considers agreement possible to throw out the Finance Bill where the 
interests of the country do not suffer. Please wire your independent opinion 
to Hotel Metropole, Agra by 8th at the latest. I reserve my opinion till 
your reply. Please consider the bearing of these negotiations on our relations 
with Mussalmans and tho advisability of entertaining these proposals, at 
this stage without prejudice to our election campaign." 

All replies wore received by me before the 10th and 1 sent them to 
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya for his perusal asking him to treat them as 
confidential. On reading them, Pandit Malaviya said that it was no use 
carrying on the conversations any longer, but desired to have my own 
opinion on his suggestion. This I conveyed to him by my letter of the llth 
September which has since been published in the press. I was never asked 
to attend any meeting or take part in any consultations with the Res- 
ponsivists and tho Independents. My programme, giving the time and date 
of my departure from Delhi as the morning of the 12th had been published 
a week before and I left Delhi accordingly without receiving any sugges- 
tion from any quarter to postpone my departure. 

Thcee facts should bo read with tho terms now published by Pandit 
Madan Mohan Malaviyn. It will be clear that I was anxious all along not 
to repeat the history of the Sabarmati Pact and insisted on the conditions 
for acceptance of office not only to be clearly stated, but also widely published. 
This was not acceptable to Pandit Malaviya and his friends and the 
negotiations camo to an end. When Pandit Malaviya made his suggestions 
on the 4th which are now published, I gave my reply to him then and 
there and the reference to my friends was made at the suggestion of Mrs. 
Sarojini 'Naidu to find out their views. I undertook to show the replies to 
Malaviyaji as a matter of courtesy and I fulfilled my undertaking. The 
Eesponsivists are at liberty to make such election capital as they like 
by publiehing a part only of the negotiations. It will, however, be clear 
to the public that after the unfortunate differences which arose on the 
true interpretations of the Sabarmati Pact the position 1 took iu regard to 
the publication of the conditions of takiug office was the only reasonable one. 
As regards the revision of lists by a committee, the Congress had at the 
time approved the nominations of about 400 candidates for the Assembly 
and the various Councils and the candidates so approved had begun their 
election campaign. In some Provinces, the last date for filing the nomina- 
tions was the 15th September. It will thus be seen that the general revision 
of the lists suggested by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was wholly im- 
practicable. In case the other terms were agreed to, I was willing to find 
places for selected men from the Pandit's Party in the Assembly and also in 
the various Councils. All those I consulted were unanimously opposed to any 
general revision of the lists. My proposal was, therefore, the only reasonable 
course to be followed in the circumstances ". 

Pandit Malaviya's Statement. 

In a statement to the press on tho 17th September Pandit Malaviya 
denied the responsibility for publication of the terms of compromise between 
the Swarajists and Responsivists and said tha he never gave a copy of the 
terms to any preas representative, nor did he authorise anyone to publish 


them. He admitted that the conversations carried on between Pandit Nehru 
and himself were certainly confidential and they should not have been publish- 
ed as he was all along of opinion that to publish the terms upon which 
the United Congress Party should be willing to accept the offer would be 
untimely and impolitic ; but he maintained thore was no justification for the 
insinuation made by Pandit Motilal that the Responsivists desired to make 
election capital by publishing cnly pait of the negotiations, 

Proceeding, Pandit Malaviya said that at the end of the first stage of 
the conversations at Simla, they came to the conclusion that there was no 
hope of a compromise. He agreed that the final talk on the subject with 
Pandit Nehru on the 4th September and the last effort at unity proposed 
the terms which had been published. In conclusion, Pandit Malaviya said 
that, in his opinion, if there was a will to compromise, it would riot have 
been difficult to find a way for it. 

The Punjab Leaders 7 Manifesto. 

The following manifesto was issued in the beginning of November 1926 
under the signatures of many members of the Punjab Provincial Congress 
Committee and other Congress workers in the Punjab : 

" Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lala Lajpat Rai are two amongst 
the most prominent personalities in our country. Their association with the 
cause of the Congress is a life-long one. By their continued efforts to pro- 
pagate its aims and ideals, they have both earned for themselves a unique 
position in the hearts of the people. The signatories of this manifesto in 
common with the public have on various occasions expressed deep apprecia- 
tion of their services in the fight for the freedom of the country. We take 
this opportunity to reiterate our respect and regard for both Malaviyaji 
and Lalaji. 

" But it is with feelings of pain, we find that for sometime past the acti- 
vities of both these respected leaders have been such as to retard the progress 
of the struggle for the liberty of the motherland. The result of their 
energies lately has been the spread of a spirit of hostility between the 
different sections of the people. Instead of the high aim of one nation, 
they have become votaries of the cause of communalism. It is with sorrow 
that we have to refer to these matters. But we do so in the hope that 
before long our revered leaders may realise the error of their ways and begin 
to carry on the battle of Swarnj under the banner of the Indian National 
Congress alone. 

" The latest present to the country by Pandit Malaviya and Lala Lajpat 
Rai is the formation of the Independent Congress Party, We are constrained 
to say that the Dew party is undesirable not only in the manner of its creation 
but its objects are also against the interests of the country* It has been 
started at a time when it was the duty of every Congressman to carry on 
faithfully the mandate of the Cawnpore Congress and to offer a united 
front to the Government. Lala Lajpat Rai himself supported the resolution 
in the Congress in Cawnpore, and subsequently participated in the walk-out 
decided upon in Delhi by the All-India Congress Committee. It was expected 
that he would continue to follow the policy in the adoption of which he had 
a prominent hand. But he has preferred to act differently. No arguments 
have been advanced as to why the changed course is taken up now* No 


incidents have happened in the country which support his contentions, The 
Government has shown no signs at all of responding to the wishes and 
demands of the Congress and the Assembly. On the contrary in every 
possible way the Government is taking advantage of the differences in our 
camps. The campaign of communalism carried on by both the great leaders 
and their followers has not only caused bitterness between the two great 
sections of the people but has also resulted in numerous bloody feud* and 
fight. The life of no man is safa. The snirit of uneasiness and anxiety has 
affected the trade of the country con<?H Drably. Where unity and goodwill 
prevailed some years back there is diVord and >nd-blood. We are emphati- 
cally of opinion that besides o f h a r muses the main responsibility of the 
present state of affairs lies on thn shoulders of these two leader*, ft m ay 
be construed from this that the prominent men amongst the M ihomedans 
are free from blame in theso matters. We condemn equally strongly the 
activities of Dr. Kitchlew and Ali Brothers, Sir Abdur Rahim and others 
who have fanned the fire of communalism in this unfortunate country. The 
cry of Hindus versus Mahomed ins is most reprehensible. We consider such 
a propaganda very dangerous and poisonous. The sooner this evil is rooted 
out from amongst us tho better it would be. But it will never be done along 
the road pursued by Lalaji and Malaviaji. 

" Who does not know that for years Malaviaji has not agreed with the 
plans and policy of the Congress 1 He is temperamentally differently consti- 
tuted. He has honestly followed his own ideas and views of slow and 
constitutional methods. But it is a surprise to us to see Lala Lajpat Rai, 
the avowed apostle of extremism go hand in hand with Malaviaji. Why is 
this done ? How long will the combination last ? These are questions which 
the public is asking. Up till his leaving from Geneva Lalaji was of opinion 
that the Congress is the only supreme body that should run the elections. 
After his return to India we find a sudden change in his views. He is not 
sure yet if Hindu Sabha alone should run elections. It may be perhaps that 
to so declare would mean a too pointed ani awkward position for him to 
take up and totally inconsistent with his off-repeated decisions to the contrary. 
The general impression is that as usual with Lalaji he brooks no opposition 
He wishes to have the sole control of the elections somehow. The result is 
the strange combination of Lalaji with Malaviaji and Raj* Narendra Nath 
which is neither milk nor water. The wisdom of a known reactionary, 
coupled with the sagacity of a deep and law abiding constitutionalist, com- 
bined with the waning ardour of the comrade of Tilak who abhorred all 
such compromises, will decide the fate of the people in our ill-fated province. 
The " Bandematram " was loud in criticising a recent action of the Provincial 
Congress Committee for the association of a gentleman in the address to 
Sir Michael O'Dwyer. What an irony of fate that Lalaii who is the power 
behind the " Bandematram " now openly declares it fit that the fortunes of 
the candidates for the coming elections should be decided by one who was 
amongst the originators, if we are not mistcaken, of the famous address to the 
fountain head of tho cruelties of Martial Law days in the Punjab. Necessity 
knows no law. Nemesis has no mercy. We have to examine this " Trinity " 
critically. Raja Sahib is too good-natured and is never taken seriously. 
Malaviaji not likely to be in the Punjab, having to fight his battles in his 
own province. The only guiding hand left therefore is Lalaji, and this is 
exactly what the " Lion " aimed at and has achieved so wonderfully. A.V 


this IB done in the name of democracy. Such a propaganda besides weaken* 
ing the national cause strengthens the hands and power of the Government 
in various days. 

" Let every well-wisher of the country consider these matters carefully 
and see for himself whether the load given under such combinations of 
heterogenous matters can ever be fruitful for thn country. Lahji was 
offered a seat in the Election board by the P.B.C.C., in which he disdained 
to work. Why ? Because therein no single man can do what he likes. He 
was offered to have the whole machinery of the Congress under his charge 
which he refused if his terms of either summary dismissal or lowering of the 
positions of some of the most prominent workers of the Congress were not 
agreed to. Now the attempt is being made indirectly to got what was 
directly offered to him. For the ways and means to gain his object Lalaji 
hits to resort to the procedure followed by the Government in crushing one 
of the finest set of sacrificing workers, the Akalis. Even the name has been 
borrowed. The Government pnt up men to start the " Gurdwara Sudhar " 
Committee. Lalaji finds people to create the Congress " Sudbar Committee." 
We hope the upshot of the latter will not be that of the first as it would 
be such a keen disappointment to the founders of the " Sudhar Committee." 
We deprecate strongly the methods adopted by this latest " Sudhar Sabha." 

" Capital is made of the dignity of the Congress having been reduced, 
Every institution is the result of the energies and work of its component 
parts. If the very limbs of the body begin to decay, naturally there will be 
lowering of activity. But does it lie in the mouth of those who themselves 
begin to work against the ideals of the parent body and decry it in season 
and out of season though outwardly keeping up their past attitude, to now 
turn round and complain about the state of affairs which is of their own 
creation? The \vhole responsibility is theirs alone. All credit to the few 
humble workers who inspite of great odds against them still kept aloft high 
the flag of the National Congress. 

" Why are the founders of the Independent Congress Partv afraid to stand 
on their own legn 1 Thn attitude of the responsivist friends in not joining the 
new party is honourable and clearly understood. They are fighting on the 
merits of their canso. Unlike the new party they do not need the clouk of 
the word " Congress " to get support to their views from the public. The 
new party being a shadow only needs the sun of the " Congress " word to 
lighten its dark and fleeting constitution. What difference is there now 
between the ways and means of this latest still-born child of the Congress 
and those of our moderate friends, whom one of the founders of the former 
wrongly characterised as " traitors *' to the country. The composition of the 
new party is also peculiar. Such persons are flocking to its banner who nevei 
had the courage to stand by the nationalists in their hours of trial when they 
were unselfishly braving all the hardships and rigors of the non-co-operation 
campaign. Let the people beware of such rigmarole permutations and 

" Great stress is laid on the point of ability and reliability of the can- 
didates to bo proposed arid to be supported. We can't imagine if there was 
e^er any time when we did riot need the best men in Councils when we meant 
business. What is the significance of this new slogan is boyorid our compre- 
hension. In our views it is another hoax perpetrated on the public* 
Perhaps only guch persons who are acceptable to Lalaji are "able and reliable' 


and not the rest, It is an open secret that Lalaji and his group have decided 
to oppose some of the most reliable, tried and able work3rs of the Congress 
in the nama of the above cry of "reliability and ability." We shall leave it 
to the people to judge for themselves whether the candidates put up by the 
Congress or the new party bear this test. 

" In the end we would earnestly request the public not to be led away by 
big names and now cries. Tho Congress, the creation of the best minds of 
the country, sustained with the blood and sacrifices of the martyrs for years, 
is the only and supreme body capable of giving a real fight to the Govern- 
ment. Swaraj Party is admittedly the only strong, compact body which had 
led successfully in the past the battles of the nation. Friends, gather toge- 
ther under the banner of the Congress and thus prove to the world that true 
ideals is what you are after and riot great personalities. As long as the 
spirit is untarnished enthusiasm, courage and sacrifices are our watch- 
words- we need never despair even if we have to carry on the burden of 
the fight on young shouldors. Young men of the country are the backbone 
of the nation ", 

The Akali Leaders 9 Case. 

The long drawn out Akali leaders' case, which had been dragging on 
before the court of a special magistrate, first at Amritsar and later inside 
the Fort at Lahore for three years, at last came to an end, the Punjab 
Government having decided to withdraw the prosecutions against tha re- 
maining undertrial prisoners, now that the Central Gurdwara Board, for 
which the Sikh Gurdwara Act provided, has been duly constituted. 

The following announcement was made by the counsel for the Crown in 
the Akali leaders' case before the special magistrate on the 27th Sept. 1926 : 
I am instructed by the Government, with your permission, to withdraw from the 
prosecution and I have been directed by th<* Government to make the following statement 
regarding the reasons for withdrawal. When the Sikh Gurdwara Act was passer] the 
Punjab Government; announced that as soon as the Central Board for which the Act 
provided had been duly constituted by the election ot repieeentatives, the notifications 
directed against the Shromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the Akali Dal, 
under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, would be withdrawn. The Board has now 
been constituted and the notifications have been withdrawn. The prosecution in the 
present case, which has been under trial before a special magistrate for sometime pant, 
have largely been connected with certain aspects of the activities of these associations 
which the Government has held to be unlawful, and now that a constitutional body 
has been duly instituted under the statute to deal with the management of gurdwara 
property, the Local Government have decided to withdraw from the prosecution of the 
accused still remaining before the court." 

This marks the end of a long chapter of the struggle between the Akalis, 
the Mahants and the Government for the reform of the Sikh Gurdwaras. 

It is interesting to recall that 59 Akali leaders were arrested in Septem- 
ber 1923 at Amritsar and that, after preliminary trials, 21 were acquitted 
and the remaining 38 charged witht various offences under the Penal Code. 
They stood their trial for more than two years before the court of special 
magistrate. Some months ago 23 leaders, including Sirdar Bahadar Mehtab 
Singh, were released on their giving a verbal undertaking that they would 
not take direct action in future in the matter of Gurdwara. This action. 


of the leaders was strongly criticised by the Extremist Sikh Press, as well 
as by a section of non-Sikh Prass, and a controversy raged over this subject 
till very recently, when Saidar Bahadar Mehtab Singh's party were defeated 
during the elections to the Central Gurdwara Board, and the Akali Dal 
came into power with the election of Sardar Mangal Singh as President of 
the Board. Of the remaining 15 Akali leaders, who refused to recognise 
any sort of undertaking, written or verbal, Sardar Teja Singh Samandri 
died in jail, and the remaining 14 leaders continued to be prosecuted 
although several appeals were made in the meanwhile to the Govern- 
ment by Sikh members in the Punjab Council. The Punjab Government 
had given a hint sometime back that, as soon as the Central Gurdwara 
Board, which was a constitutional body under the Gurdwara Act had been 
duly constituted, the notifications which declared the S. G. P. C. and the 
Akali Dal to be unlawful associations would be withdrawn. This was done 
only a little over a week ago, arid prominent Akali leaders outside were 
expecting the release of the remaining under-trial leaders. 

The news of the withdrawal of the prosecution of the Akalis, was therefor 
hailed with great joy. They said that their struggle with the Government, 
unfortunate as it was, had happily ended from this date so far as the 
management of Gurdwara property was concerned. Many offered their 
sincere congratulations to the Governor for his statesmanlike and just action. 
Among the 4 * leaders who were released on this day was Sardar Kharak 
Singbi whom the Akalis regarded as their jathedar, or foremost leader, 

Result of General Election. 

In the general election that followed the dissolution of the 2nd 
Reformed Councils in December 1926 the Swaraj party scored a signal sucoes 
in Madras as there they fought against class domination. Their success in 
Bengal was due to the repressive policy of the Government. Not much 
importance could be attached to the Congress success in Bihar and Orissa as 
most of the men who were returned were frank Responsivists though they had 
been elected on the Congress ticket. Ihe co-operation of the No-Changers 
contributed considerably to the success of the Congress candidates. In fact, 
it will hardly be fair to call the Bihar Congressmen Swarajists except in 
the technical term. In the C. P., U. P., and the Punjab the Swarajists were 
almost routed. In U. P., they lost all the Hindu seats for the Assembly 
except that of Pandit Motilal Nehru whose election was not contested. 
In the Punjab no Hindu or Muslim Swarajists succeeded for the Assembly. 
The Sikh Swarajists were not Swarajists at all, because they had signed 
the Sikh League Pledge before they signed the Congress Pledge. They were 
primarily bound by the former. In the C. P. the Swarajists secured 
only one seat, in Bombay and Sind they had only two. Coming to the 
Provincial Council, they bad only two members in the Punjab both of 
whom were elected by a narrow majority. The President and the Secretary 
of the Punjab Congress Committee were defeated by overwhelming majorities. 
One of them forfeited his security. In U. P. their number went down 
from 31 to 19 and in C. P. from forty four to fifteen, while in Bombay they 
were reduced to eleven. 

The Tide of Communalism. 

The Hindu-Moslem Riots. 

Since the Kohat Riots of September 1924 the growing Hindu-Muslim 
tension took a very serious turn in July 1925 when a trouble arose between 
the two communities out of the celebration by the Muslims of a festival 
usually known as the Bakr Id which fell this year on the 2nd July. 

The principal places affected were Delhi, Calcutta and Allahabad. In 
Delhi, the Muslims had for long boon accustomed to lead the sacrificial 
animals along a particular route called the Pahari Dhiraj route. In 1924, 
owing to the dangerous state of communal relations, this route was closed 
by the authorities and no animals were taken along it. It was recognised, 
however, that such a restriction was felt by Mohammedans to be irksome, 
and, therefore, the local authorities announced that the route would be 
open on the occasion of the Bakr Id festival this year. Negotiations were 
undertaken by certain Hindus and Muslims of Delhi with the object of 
coming to an amicable agreement. However, owing partly to the attitude 
of certain fire-eaters on both sides, the negotiations broke down and 
the authorities bad even to arrest a number of leading agitators of 
the two communities. The tension by the beginning of July had become 
very acute, and there was an appreciable exodus of Hindus to neighbour- 
ing places and until after the festival. On the actual day, elaborate police 
and military arrangements were made. Police pickets, both mounted and 
foot, were posted at appropriate points and armed policemen were stationed 
on housetops commanding the route. A squadron of cavalry patrolled the 
city and there was a small detachment of British Infantry in the danger zone. 
Owing to these precautions the day passed quietly in Delhi. 

Calcutta, however, was less fortunate, for there a riot occurred between 
Hindus and Muslims near Garden Reach. It was alleged by the local Hindus 
that a cow was slaughtered in front of a Hindu house, whereupon large 
numbers of men of both communities assembled with sticks and stones. 
About three hundred Mohammedans and six hundred Hindus are said to 
have been concerned in the affray. Thirty-eight Muslims were admitted 
into hospital, of whom one died immediately after admission, while others 
remained in a precarious condition. Another riot took place during the 
Bakr Id celebrations at Humnabad in the dominions of the Nizam of 
Hyderabad, about 40 miles away from Gulbarga, where a very severe com- 
munal riot had taken place the year before. At Allahabad the authorities 
took special precautions against communal disturbances. Shortly before 
the celebrations, British and Indian troops marched through the city and 
the police Btrictly enforced an order issued by the Distinct Magistrate regu- 
lating the size of sticks which might be carried during the festival. Later 
in the month there were Hindu-Muslim riots in Rangoon and at a small 
place called Patdi near Ahmedadad, where it was alleged that a Hindu 
boy had been taken away by certain Mohammedans for sacrifice. The better 
known Mohammedan celebration of Muharram fell at the end of July 
necessitating once more extraordinary precautions by the authorities in 
various places. Happily, no serious disturbances were reported during 


the ceremony. In Lahore, the capital city of the Punjab, an unpleasant 
situation seemed to be developing during the greater part of July between 
the Hindus and Muslims owing to rumours which were current there that 
Hindu boys were being systematically kidnapped by Pathans. However, 
wise and timely action on the part of the District Magistrate and Senior 
Superintendent of Police, who conducted immediate enquiries into all reports 
of kidnapping arid took the leaders of the Hindu community into their 
confidence by showing them the results of their enquiries and associating 
them in these enquiries, revealed the utter lack of foundation for these 
reports, and the anxiety of Hindus died down. 

On August 1st 1925, in the famous town of Panipat, not far from Delhi, 
what would undoubtedly have been a very bloo ly communal riot was averted 
by the plucky action of certain magistrates and police officials of the Karnal 
district in which Panipat is situated. A Muharram procession was proceeding 
through the main bazar of the town when it was mot by a large mob of 
Hindu Jats estimated to number not less than one thousand, who had 
armed themselves with staves, scythes, pitchforks and other weapons. Some 
of the Jats are said to havo climbed on to houses in the Bazar, taking stones 
with them. The Muharram procession was speedily reinforced by large 
crowds of Muslims armed with sticks. The local Magistrate and Deputy 
Superintendent of Police, with 15 or 20 constables, had forced themselves 
in between the rival mobs. At this point the District Magistrate and the 
Superintendent of Police arrived from Karnal. The Superintendent took 
charge of the small body of police and at once charged and dispersed the Jats. 

Very significant features of the Hindu-Muslim rioting, which took 
place subsequently are its wide distribution and its occurrence, in some 
oases, in small villages. Calcutta, the United Provinces, the Central 
Provinces and the Bombay Presidency were all scenes of riots, some 
of which led to regrettable losses of life. Certain minor and local Hindu 
festivals, which occurred at the end of August, gave rise to communal trouble 
in Calcutta, in Berar, in Gujarat in the Bombay Presidency, and in the 
United Provinces. In some of these places there were actual clashes 
between the two communities, but elsewhere, notably at Kankmarah one 
of the most thickly populated jute mill centres of Calcutta serious rioting 
was prevented by the activity of the police. In Gujarat, Hindu-Muslim 
feeling was running high in these days and was marked by at least one case 
of temple desecration. The Important Hindu festival of Ramlila, at the end 
of September, gave rise to acute anxiety in many places, and at Aligarh, an 
important place in the United Provinces, its celebration was maked by one 
of the worst riots of the year. The riot assumed such dangerous proportions 
that the police were compelled to fire to restore order, and five persons were 
killed, either by the police or by rioters. At Lucknow the same festival 
gave rise at one time to a threatening situation, but the local authorities 
prevented actual rioting. October saw another serious riot at Sholapur in 
the Bombay Presidency. There, local Hindus were taking a car with Hindu 
idols through the city, and when they came near the mosque, a dispute arose 
between them and certain Mublims, which developed into a riot. 

In the beginning of April 1926 a fierce and deplorable rioting took place 
in Calcutta. It started in an affray outside a mosque between Muslims and 
some Arya Samajists and continued to spread until April 5th, though there 
WM only one oocaiion on which the police or military were faced by a crowd 


which showed determined resistance, namely, on the evening of the 5th 
April, when fire had to be opened. The firing was strictly controlled and 
did not exceed the barest requirements of the situation. It was significant 
that the bulk of tho press had no complaint against the firing, some news- 
papers even declaring that a severer handling of the situation by the police 
had been called for. Apart from this incident, the rioting was confined to 
sporadic street fighting and isolated attacks. There was also a great deal 
of incendiarism and in the first throe days the Fire Brigade had to deal with 
110 fires. An unprecedented feature of the riots were the attacks on temples 
by Muslims and on Mosques by Hindus, which naturally led to intense 
bitterness. There were 44 deaths and 584 persons were injured. There 
was a certain amount of looting and business was suspended, with great 
economic loss to Calcutta. Shops began to re-open soon after the 5th, but 
the period of tension was prolonged by the approach of a Hindu festival on 
the 13th of April, and of the Id on the 14th. The Sikhs were to have taken 
out a procession on the 13th, but Government were unable to give them the 
necessary license. The apprehensions with regard to the 13th and 14th of 
April, fortunately, did not materialise and outward peace prevailed until 
the 22nd April when ifc was abruptly broken as a result of a petty quarrel 
in a street which restarted the rioting. Fighting between mobs of the two 
communities, generally on a small scale, accompanied by isolated assaults and 
murders continued for six days. During this period there were no attacks 
on temples or mosques and there was little arson or looting. But there were 
more numerous occasions on which the hostile mobs did not immediately 
disperse on the appearance of the police and on 12 occasions it was necessary 
to open fire. The total number of casualties during this second phase of 
the rioting was 66 deaths and 391 injured. The dislocation of business was 
much more serious than during the first riots and the closing of Marwari 
business houses was not without an effect on European business firms. Panic 
caused many of the markets to be wholly or partially closed and for two 
days the meat supply was practically stopped. So great was the panic that 
the removal of refuse in the disturbed area was stopped. Arrangements 
were, however, made to protect supplies, and the difficulty with the municipal 
scavengers was overcome as soon as the municipality had applied to the 
police for protection. There was a slight extension of the area of rioting, 
but no disturbances occurred in the mill area around Calcutta. Systematic 
raiding of the poitions of the disturbed area, the arrest of hooligans, the 
seizure of weapons and the reinforcement of the police by the deputation of 
British soldiers to act as special police officers had the desired effect, and 
the last three days of April, in spite of the continuance of isolated assaults 
and murders, witnessed a steady improvement in the situation. Isolated 
murders were largely attributable to hooligans of both communities and their 
persistence during the first as well as the second outbreak induced a general 
belief that these hooligans were hired assassins. J^^SSStejfe persistent 
feature of the riots, namely the distribution of^^^l&Cj/f/iS^d leaflets 
by both sides, together with the employm^n^Jy^fof&T^ 
the belief that money had been spent to kee/the ffght going. Ti OlJcutta 
riots, have, unfortunately, greatly aggra 
new intensification of communal antagoni 
subsequent meetings of the KhiUfat Coi 
fabha. The Kbilafat Conference on tbd 


creed. In future, while keeping in view the aim of ridding the Holy Placed 
and Jazirat-ul-Arab of non-Muslim control, it will promote the welfare of the 
Muslims of India in matters religious, educational, social, economic, and 
political. A resolution was also passed at the Conference calling upon 
Khilafat organisations to safeguard the lives and the property of Indian 
Muslims and to render them all material and moral support including the 
conduct of cases in courts. Feeling ran so high at the Khilafat meeting that 
when a member referred to Hindus as * 'brethren/' there was an outburst 
from a considerable section of the audience who demanded the withdrawal 
of the word "brethren" and objected to its application to "Kafirs." On the 
the other side, the working committee of the A. I. Hindu Mahasabha, 
which met at Delhi on the 10th May under the Chairmanship of Raja 
Narendra Nath condemned as utterly unwarrantable and unjust the 
attacks made by certain Muslims upon the precession of Arya Sttmajists, 
upon Hindu and Sikh temples and Gurdwaras and upon unoffending 
Hindus. The Committee also attributed the outbreak in Calcutta to the 
inflammatory utterances of certain educated Mussalman speakers and publicists' 
(From India in 1925-26.) 

The Rawalpindi Riots* 

After the second phase of the Calcutta Riots in April, another riot 
of a serious nature took place at Rawalpindi on the 14th June 1926. The 
following statement ^as issued by Raja Narendranath and Dr. Gokal Chand 
Narang who visited Rawalpindi on the 16th June oa behalf of tho Lahore 
Hindu Sabha : 

The news of a serious riot at Rawalpindi in which many casualties had taken placo 
and property of considerable value belonging to Hindus and Sikhs had been destroyed 
owing to incendiarism by the rioters was received by us on the morning of the 16th. 
We left for Pindi on the evening of the 15th, and reached there on the morning of the 16th. 

As far as we were able to asceitam facts, it appeared to us that the whole trouble 
arose from the recent demand of our Muhammcdan fellow countrymen about music 
before mosques, a demand which has received encouragement fiom the recent one-sided 
order of the Goveinment of Bengal. For sometime past a storm was biewing over the 
erection of a cinema behind the Jumma Musjid of the city, which we also saw in coarse 
of our visit. Over the land owned by Sardar Mohan Singh, President, Municipal Com- 
mittee, a Sikh gentleman has built a Cinema to which Muhammedans ohj -cted on the 
ground that there should be no place of amusement or public entertainment m the vicinity 
of a mosque. The Sardar naturally paid no heed to this unreasonable demand of the 
Muhammedans. Feelings had been aroused by speeches delivered by some Mullahs and 
Muhammedan public men at public meetings during the Jaht three weeks or BO. On the 
13th of June in celebration of a Guruparb a proufbtuon of the Sikhs pasted in front of the 
Jumma Muejid with oidinary music. In taking the procession through the streets and 
not stopping the music before the mosque, the Sikhs were acting in conformity with law. 
It was stated before UB that whilst nearly the whole of the piocession had passed and only 
the tail end of it was in front of the mosque, some brickbats were thiown by Muslims 
at the women who foimed part of the procession ; bur, on the Sikh*,' remonstrance, the 
mischief-mongers dispersed and nothing untoward happened there. On the 14th a Dewan 
was held in the Singh Sabha, In course of the day. a Muhammedan is said to have 
come to the Singh Sabha and given a challenge for the Sikhs to take out a procession 
again and see the consequences. The Sikhs replied that they would take out the procts- 
eion, only on another Guru Parb day. In the evening whilst the Dewan was being held 
some Muhammedans gathered outside the Singh Sabha and inoleated the visitors. Some 
Sikhs arrived outside the Singh Sabha Gordwara and there was an altercation between 
them and the Muhammedans which resulted in a fracas, but as far as we were able to 
ascertain no one was killed or seriously wounded there. 

A band of Mubammerians, possibly reinforc<d by those who had taken part to the 
quarrel before the Singh Sabha, went to the Grain Market and Mt fire to the ibopi, The 


extent of the fire supports the allegations that petrol was freely used in setting fire to the 
shops, etc. The police prevented the owners of the shops and houses in the market from 
having access to the property and doing what they could to save it. Fire Brigade waa 
not procured to extinguish the nre, with the result that it went on unchecked and caused 
much tremendous loss of property. Serious allegations were made as to the complicity 
of the subordinate police with the incendiaries; bnt until the evidence on this point has 
b^en properly collected and examined, we refrain from expressing any opinion about ttnm 
at the present stage. The extent of the fire and the enormous damage done, however, 
lend strength to the complaint that the police did nothing to prevent the arson, It may 
be noted that an overwhelming majority of the police consists of Muhammadans. 

Information obtained from various sources leads us to believe that on the 14th crowds 
of Muhammadans armed with Mat his* and hatchets were collecting m different parts of the 
City and there was an unusual influx of the villagers to the town. The police did not 
make adequate arrangements to prpv*nt the tragedy. Up to the 15th the number of 
casualties known was 14 killed (Muhamraedana 11, Sikhs 2 Hindus 1) and about 50 

It is difficult to estimate f he value of the property destroyed. It has been stated to 
range between two cror<>s and three crores. It certainly amenta to lakhs and lakhs. 
Many flourishing merchants have been utterly ruined. It was reported to us that goods 
were tak"n away in lorries to neighbouring villages and no one interfered and no efforts 
are being made to recover the looted property. 

We heard c mflicting nccounts as to where the cawilties took place. It appears that 
the fracas before the Singh Sabha was a minor affair and that probably a number were 
killed whilst committing arson by the resident owners or by owners who had access to 
their properties, whilst others were wounded or killed by way-farere of the opposite creed. 
We are unable to apporti >n the number of casualties to the various places where conflicts 
occurred. The whole misfortune is due to the extreme communal sensitiveness of our 
Muhammedan fellow countryman, which assumes new forms and makes new demands 
amounting to encroachment on the liberty of their fellow citizens. The situation is 
apparently quiet, but feeling runs high and the danger of recrudescence is not over. 
It is, therefore, desirable that military pickets should be continued and section 144 
enforced for some time longer. 

Since our return a similar tragedy has occurred at Saidpnr where several Hindus 
have been murdered and a large number of Hindu and Sikh shops and houses burnt. 
The need of taking prompt and adequate precautionary measures is obvious. Flying 
columns of cavalry sent round within a radius of fifty miles of Pindi, will not be out 
of place. 

The Pabna Riots. 

The Pabna riots can be divided into two main categories. One pertains to 
occurrences in thejtown of Pabna following; he discovery bv the Hindus of broken 
images on the 1st July and the other relates to attacks on Hindus' person and property 
in villages and mofussil towns in the Pabna district following the occurrences in Pabna 
town on July 1. 

In Pabna town there was a Hindu procession on the evening of July 1, a fracas 
in front of a mosque and an alleged invasion of town by Moslem crowds from villages 
and mobrule for about two days thereafter during which it was said the Hindus lived in 
terror within doors and stray cases of assaults on Hindus took place. The Commissioner 
and the Deputy Inspector General of Police arrived at Pnbna with reinforcements on 
July 3. As far as Pabna town was concerned a moral situation could be said to prevail from 
July 4. An ordr under Section 144 Or. P. C. prohibiting carrying of " lathies M and 
assembly of more than 5 persons was however in force. About 18 Hindus and amongst 
them prominent citizens were arrested on charge of causing grievous hurt and rioting. 

Since the occurrence of July 1 rumours spread in villages and mofussil towns of 
Pabna district that Hindus of 'Pabna wantonly attacked a mosque and d secrated it. 
In consequence irfoslem feelings were excited and angry crowds of Moslems marched 
from village to village and town to town inciting local Moslems to attack persons 
and property. The authorities commenced to receive at Pabna from the 2nd instant 
reports of looting and attacks on Hindus. Investigation of the first reports showed 
that they were unfounded and that there had been no attacks up to the 3rd instant, 
but from the 4th instant attacks on Hindus 1 persons and property in the mofussil 
centres commenced and continued incessantly till the 8th instant, when firm action by the 
authorities in sending reinforcements arresting rowdy elements and resorting to fire 


(on four occasions; began to have a quietening effect. About 280 Moslems were arreited 
np to the morning of the llth instant in the mofussil areas. Barring a few easel 
of attempted looting, no serious case of attack was repotted since the 9th instant. 

An attempt to trace the communal activities of the two communities showed that 
the Moslems had an organisation known as the Anjuman Islamia which was established 
several years ago but which, it was said, was uot functioning until recently wben the 
communal rivalries in the matter of representation m public services and local bodieg 
became acute. This body was said to own allegiance to Sir Abdur Rahim. 

On the Hindu side, a branch of the Hindu Sabha was established about 1921 
or 1922 and it was claimed, it concentrated chiefly on the removal of untouchability. 
There was no communal or anti-Moslem propaganda traceable to tbe Hindu Sabha or the 
Hindu leaders. There was in June a H-ndu Conference presided over by Pandit Shyara- 
eunder Cbakaravaity but the proceedings were in no way communal. The Conference 
adopted a resolution protesting against restrictions on music before mosques ; but, 
it was not a live is^ue as far as Pabna was concerned, although since then the Hindus 
claimed that music wan always played before the mosques and the Moslems that musio 
was al*ays stopped before the mosques. 

The Calcutta riots, however, appeared to have intensified the communal tension in 
Pabna. Both the Hindus and Moslems followed closely the reports of the riot occurrences 
and developed comuunal antipathies. The Calcutta riots were accompanied by the 
desecration of a number of Hindu images in the Pabna district in centres like Serajgunge, 
A famed pur, Salop and Fandpur. The culprits WCJP detected in only one place and that 
was at Salop where a Moslem was fined Rs. 60 The report of desecration of images 
embittered Hindu feelings and there was much agitation in the Hindu mind. After the Cal* 
cutta riots, an Arya Samajist was said to have visited Pabna and made communal speeches. 

On the other hand, it was alleged, that the Moslems issued inflammatory leaflets 
reviling Hindus and inciting Moslems to violence, and that efforts were made to secure 
the sacrifice of a large number of cows and in as open a manner as possible. The 
Hindus also alleged that in the last year criminal assaults on Hindu women had increased 

The incident occurred in the following way : Hindu images were found broken 
near the house of 8j. Jogendra Nath Maitra, a leading Hindu citizen of Pabna and the 
zemindar of Sitlai. The images were diecovered at about 8-30 a.m. on the 1st July 
Of the images, three were of Sashti, one of Kali and the other of Saraswati. The 
Images had been taken from three different places in the Pabna town and placed 
near Sitlai Babu'e house. Intimation of the discovery was sent to the leading Hindus 
and three of them consisting of Sitlai Babu, Mr. I. J, Mazumdar, the chairman of 
the Municipality and Kabiraj Srish Chandra Vidyaratna complained of the desecration 
of the images to the Sub Divisional Officei and at 10 a.m. the Dibtnct Magistrate and the 
S. D. 0. vibited the place where the images were found. The Sub-Divisional Officer, it 
was said, suggested that the images should be in police custody to be produced as exhibits 
when the culprits were found. This buggestion was oppobcd by the Hindus on the 
ground that it would be an outrage on their icligious feelings. They claimed that the 
images should be immersed iu the river. The District Miigibtiate, agreed to the pro- 
pobal about immersion and only suggested that the immersion b<* done unostentatiously 
esptcially as Sitlai Babu's house near which the images were found was situated on the 
bank of the river Pad ma. 

The news of the dibcoveiy of the broken images spread in the city and the Hindus 
of Pabim visited the t-ccne of discovery in numbers and the prominent amongst them 
confeired as to what should be done. One view was that the images should be immersed 
unostentatiously without any procebsion and another view was that not only the broken 
images but also other unguarded images in the town should be immersed after being 
taken in procession. The Hindu images, came under two categories ; one in which 
the images were woighippcd daily and the other in which the images were renewed 
yearly to be woi shipped only once in the year on specific occasions and was kept to be 
immeieed when the time came for lenewing it. Tne Hindus held that the images which 
we i e \vort-hipped only on sptc i ric occasions and were placed m thatched sheds or other 
kutcha structute- were unpiotected and by tLat reason invited sacrilege and that in view 
of the dftecration that had taken place it would be better to immerse them before any 
harm was done. It was albo decided that the Hindu shop-keepers should observe a hartal 
for the day. 

A procfHBion started from Sitlai Babu's house at about 6 p.m. with the broken 
image* in the midst, a Sankirtan party in fiont and some drummers accompanying it. 
The Hindus were positive that the Hindus who accompanied the procession were ail 


no armed ftfid also barefooted as a mark of mourning. This the Moslems denied and this 
was supported by police testimony according to which, it was said, lathis were carried. 
Abont 8,000 would be approximately the correct estimate of the crowd that accom- 
panied the procession. 

The procession which started at abont 6 p.m. reached that part of the bazar where 
the fracas of the day took place at about 7 p.m. Before reaching this place it passed 
along two mosques with music without any objection. The Moslems claimed that no objec- 
tion was raised to the music as it was not then prayer time. The scene of the fracas was 
on a bazar road in which the Moslem shop-keepers chiefly tailors abound. The pro- 
cessionists entered the road by another route which abuts into that road in the middle, 
near which was a mosque. A free fight took place at this juncture in which a section 
of Moslems who were in the alleged mosque and the front section of the procession took 
active part. One Moslem was wounded by a dagger. A few Moslems and Hindus were 
hurt. Brickbats were freely used. The Moslems used "lathis 11 whilf the Hindus 
made use of logs of fire-wood which were lying nrar by. While the fracas was in 
progress, the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police arrived on the 
scene, restored order and the procession terminated without any untoward incident by 
about 7-30 p.m. after the images were immersed. The Moslem view was that con- 
sidering the route taken by the procession and the large numbers that accompanied it, 
the processionists had come prepared for a tight and to provoke one. The Hmdua 
alleged on the contrary that the Moslems had premeditated the fracas. 

In this connection, the Hindus dispute the title of the place in front of which the 
fracas took place, to be called a mosque. Inspections showed that a passage leading 
from the bazar road led to a small open space behind the bhops adjoining which there 
was an oblong shed with thatched roofing, bamboo fencing and cemented floor. There 
were no facilities in the place for ablutions nor were there any sacred books or other 
articles kept excepting a few mattresses said to be used by Moslems when offering 
prayers. According tu the Moslem view one batch of shop-keepers had offered their 
prayers and another batch commenced offering their prayers. The batch that bad con- 
cluded the prayers asked the processionists to stop music and the melee started. 

The news that the Hindus had wantonly attacked a mosque and desecreted it 
pread immediately to the neighbouring villages. The Hindu piocession terminated 
at 7-30 p.m. By 9 p.m it was said thousands of Moslems advanced with lathis 
and other weapons and poured into the Fabna town. The Hindus shut themselves in their 
houses, and it was said, the Moslem crowd roamed through the streets of Pabna 
reviling at the Hindus and threatening reprisals. Large Moslem crowds gathered round 
Sitlai Babu's house and openly shouted that they wanted his life and that of Mr. 
Banjit Lahiri and other prominent Hindus. Sitlai Babu had license for arms and 
was prepared, to defend himself. The crowds were however pursuadrd by the officials 
to disperse ; armed police patrolled the streets. According to the Moslem view which 
found favour with the officials, on the 2nd instant the crowds from surrounding 
villages, made an attempt to enter Pabna but were prevented from doing so by persuasion 
and other means. Accoiding to the Hindus, the Moslem crowds invaded Pabna on the 
next day armed with lathis and continued to be in possession of the streets assaulting the 
few Hindus wht venture.! to come out on this day. About seven to eight cases of assaults 
of Hindus and amongst them of some leading men took place on the 2nd instant. 
On the 2nd, an order under Section 144 was passed prohibiting carrying of l&tlns and 
assembly of more than 5 persons but it was said it was obeyed and enforced only in the 
case of the Hindus. The Moslem crowds melted away on the 3rd as soon as the 
higher officials and reinforcements arrived. Looting in muffasil areas commenced 
on the 4th. The leading Hindus did not attribute any motive to the District Magistrate 
or any official for resorting to persuasion instead of rigid enforcement of Section 
144. But there was a strong feeling that Section 14 4 should have been enforced on the 
Moslems as it was enforced on the Hindus and that omission to do so encouraged the 
Moslem crowds to transfer the field of their operation from the town to the villages. 

The Allahabad Riot. 

Two people were killed and 27 were injured during a Hindu-Mahomedan riot which 
occurred on the 12th September in the Chowk, the centre of Allahadad city. The dis- 
urbance arose during the progress of a Hindu procession on the occasion of the Dad k hand o 
festival which usually takes place eight days after the Janmastami. 

The Dadkhando procession was timed to leave Kydganj at 4-30 p.m., bnt owing 
to rain, the start was delayed by about a quarter o! an hour, with the result that it 



reached the Clock Tower in the Ohowk shortly before sunset. Thil was the principal 
danger point in the route of the procession, as near the Clock Tower there was a mosque 
facing the' vegetable market. It was thought desirable, in order to avoid a distur- 
bance, that the procession should pass this mosque before sunset. The alternative 
was to keep the procession waiting at the Clock Tower until after the sunset prayers. It 
was a dark and cloudy evening, and therefore it was impossible to observe the setting 
of the sun. Various watches and clocks in the city had, however, been synchronised with 
a view to avoiding any misunderstanding with regard to the actual time. Fifty armed 
policemen were drawn up in front of the mosque in order that the procession should be 
topped, if necessary. Mr. Crosthwaite, the Collector and District Magistrate, and Mr. 
Hollins, the Superintendent of Police, and other officials and a number of sowars were on 
duty near \he tower. When the procession reached the Clock Tower, the District Magistrate 
was informed by a Mahomedan Honorary Magistrate, who came down from the mosque, 
that there was exactly 20 minutes left before sunset. It was therefore decided that the 
procession should be hurried past the mosque before the evening prayers began. Nearly 
the whole of the procession had safely passed the mosque, and the rear ranks were being 
pushed forward and there was still five minutes in hand, according to the time given by 
the Honorary Magistrate already referred to, when a number of Mahomedans in the 
mosque began pelting the procession with stones and other missiles. This caused a 
panic and general confusion for a time, but the police and other officials present were 
soon able to restore order. The punitive police patrols, posted in the city owing to the 
June disturbances, effectively assisted in this duty. 

The Dacca Riot. 

A strained communal situation prevailed in Dacca on the 8th Sept. over the Janama- 
Ithami procession which were to be taken out later in the day, along routes where a 
number of mosques were situated. A dispute between the two communities had been in 
progress during the last few days over questions of the route to be followed by the 
processions, and the stoppage of music before mosques, Mahomedans insisted that music 
hould be stopped before mosques and the Hindus asserted that they would follow 
custom and would take their processions to the accompaniment of music along the entire 

A section of Mahomedans decided to boycott the processions, withdrawing Mahome- 
dan labour and trade, usually associated with the processions. Picketting was started to 
enforce the boycott by about a thousand students who enrolled as volunteers. 

In the Narindia quarter of the city there was a free fight between the Mahomedans 
and Hindu Volunteers with lathis and brickbats resulting in four volunteers being 
wounded. The Superintendent of Police proceeded to the affected area with a strong force, 
and brought the rioters under control. A number of Mahomedans, and two volunteers 
were arrested. An Armed force was posted to guard Narindia throughout the night. 

Later in the day the Janamastami procession of the Nawabpur Party which was accom- 
panied by music passed of smoothly under a strong police and volunteer-guard. There 
were, however several stray cases of assault at some distance from the route of the pro- 
cession. Shortly after the procession had started a number of men attacked Hindu 
pedestrians with daggers at Islampur, near to the Nawab's residence and inflicted injuries. 

Cases of assualt and free fight in the streets continued up the 18th when the situation 
became normal. A large number of shops were opened in the morning. Up to this day 
172 arrests were made, 35 being Hindus. Over 70 people were reported to have been 
injured, of whom about 46 were admitted in the hospital. About 16 guns were seized by 
the police from Hindus and Mahomedans in different quarters. 

The Delhi Riots. 

The report of the Police Administration in the Delhi Province for 1926 shows that 
there were 5 true cases of rioting in Delhi. A serious riot occurred on the 24th June, 
when a large number of Hindus had collected in and round Naya Bana and Khari Baoll 
owing to a false rumour that a sacrifical cow was to be taken through Naya Bana Bazar, 
a prohibited area. Efforts were made to convince the crowd that there was no truth in 
this rumour, and the assemblage was beginning to decrease in number when confusion was 
caused by an unmanageable tonga pony. Such was the state of nerves that this con- 
fusion developed instantly into a fierce communal riot which lasted for some 20 minutes, 
in the course of which 69 persons were injured (including 11 policemen) and 8 killed on 
the spot or fatally wounded. 


Another riot occurred on the 27th August, caused on this occasion by the abusive 
language of a bad tempered Bank Chapiaei to members of a Mahomedan firm with which 
the Bank had dealing. The verbal quarrel turned to blows and in a very short time a 
general riot was raging in the Chandni Chowk. The riot was promptly suppressed. 
Three Mahomedans and 12 Hindus were originally sentenced to two years* rigorous 
imprisonment and a fine of KB. 500 each. 

As the result of an appeal to the Sessions Court 6 Mahomedans and 2 Hindus were 
acquitted, while in the case of the remaining four Mahomedans and 10 Hindus the fine 
only was reduced to Rs. 50 each without auy alteration in the sentence of imprisonment. 
The appeal to the High Court resulted in the acqnittal of 2 more Mahomedans and 2 
Hindus. In the case of remaining 2 Mahomedans and 3 Hindus the fine of Bs. 60 each 
was upheld, but the sentence of imprisonment was set aside in the case of 2 Mahomedans 
and 7 Hindus and the term of imprisonment in the case of 1 Hindu was reduced to 6 

The 3rd Phase of the Calcutta Riot. 

The following are extracts from the report of the Calcutta Police Commissioner on 
the communal riots in Calcutta from the llth to the *J5th July 1926. The main 
disturbances during the period related to the Bath Jatra procession at Paikpara, 
Bajrajeswari procession at Burra bazar and the Mnharram procession. After describing 
the incident of the disturbances, the Commissioner described the measures taken to 
quell the riots and the help rendered by the military authorities. Casualties showed 
28 deaths, (20 Hindus, 8 Mahomedans) and 226 wounded, (94 Hindus and 132 Mahome- 
dans ) There were numerous cases of assault on the Police officers and men, but fortunately 
the injuries were in no case very serious. 

From the fact that a large proportion of the disturbances took place during the 
holding of religious processionp, it is self-evident that numerous conflicts between large 
bodies of opposing communities occurred and that the police were frequently faced with the 
necessity of immediately dispersing large crowds of persons who were keyed up to the 
highest pitch of religious and communal frenzy. In these circumstances, the only eft 
ective means of dispersing the mobb and avoiding more serious conflicts was to resort to 
the use of firearms. The first instance of tiring by the Police was on the 15th July 
during the Rajrajeswari procession. The Police were forced to open fire four times in one 
day, the result being one man killed and several wounded. During the Bath procession, 
ten rounds of ammunition were fired with the result that four Mahomedans and two 
Hindus were wounded. On three other occassions, the Police had to fire to disperse 
the crowd. On the 21st July, during the Mubarram procession the Police had to fire 
eight times with the result that three men were killed and 13 wounded. The Commis- 
sioner states there can be no question that firing was necrssary in all the above instances 
and in each case, it was both sufficient to secure the object in view and at the same 
time strictly limited to the necessities of the situation. There were four instances of 
shooting by members of the public, in which two mm were killed and five wounded. 

With reference to the attitude of the Indian Press, the Police Commissioner says : 
(< After the April riots it was hoped that a better spirit and a greater sense of responsibility 
would develop among the editors of the Indian Pices ; but this hope was not realised 
and journals of both communities continued to display a rrgrettably hostile spirit. The 
inflammatory articles which were published by both communities were greatly to be 
deplored and there can be little doubt that they contributed materially to the maintenance 
of the tension which led to the July riots. The disturbances in the Pabna District 
furnished ample material for bitter communal criticism and the Government were com* 
pelled to undertake a number of prosecutions for the articles. In this connection, 
18 prosecutions were sanctioned. In ten of these cases, the offending journals were 
Hindu and three were Mahomedan. There is at present an improvement in the general 
tone of the vernacular press ; but it is difficult to say whether this is due to the above 
prosecutions or to the absence of rioting or other materials for communal criticism. 
Experience of the July riots has shown, however, that any communal disturbance in 
Calcutta are almost certain to be accompanied by a flood of inflammatory articles in 
newspapers of both the contending factions and during the riots a number of new journals 
were started which are definitely communal in tone. Ordinary law clearly provides no 
adequate check for the suppression of publication of this character and its limitation! in 
this respect are manifestly fully appreciated by the offending journals. 1 * 

A to the dislocation of business caused by the riots, the Commissioner states the 
wot on wboleiale buiineii wai mow material and the present rloU have itill further 


postponed readjustment of the dislocation caused by the previous riots. The small 
dealers are not prepared to carry large stocks of goods and bigger merchants are, there- 
fore, saddled with such heavy stocks that they do not feel justified in ordering further 
supplies, This fact was clearly brought out at a meeting of the Marwari Chamber of 
Commerce on the 28th July when it was decided that no Marwari merchant should 
order supplies of piece-goods for a period of four months under pain of serious penalties. 

GovL Communique on 'No Music Before Mosque 9 . 

The following resolution was issued by the Government of Bengal on 
the 6th June 1926: 

It is only in recent years that the controversy about mubic before mosques has become 
important in Calcutta. This subject is now attracting a great deal of attention, and, 
in fact, it was the immediate occasion of the disturbances in April, 1926. On the 17th 
May His Excellency the Governor convened a conference unsuccessfully to arrive as 
a conclusion which would be acceptable to both the Hindu and Mahomedau communities. 
In dissolving ;he conference His Excellency expressed a hope that the two communities 
would, after mutual discussion, be able to agree and inform him of their agreement. 
This hope has not been fulfilled. 

In matters of religion the Government maintain an attitude of strict neutrality, and 
only intervene when the claims of one community clash with those of another, and when 
the persistence in mutually incompatible claims threatens to endanger public peace. 
Such a situation now exists, and it is necessary, therefore, for the Government of Bergal 
to announce, with as much detail as the circumstances of the case permit, the nature of 
the orders which will hereafter be enforced in Calcutta in this respect. 

After referring to the law giving authority to the ComraiBbioner of Police for regula- 
ting music at processions in Calcutta, the Resolution says : 

It was arranged at the conference on the 17th May that written statements regarding 
the personal experience of those who are acquainted with this subject should be received 
and considered by the Government. A large number of statements have been received, 
and they have been carefully considered. The Hindu community claim that music is 
an essential part of their religious observances, and is, therefore, a necessary feature 
at all their religious processions. They have claimed the right and assert^ the practice 
of playing music before mosques without hindrance at all hours of (he day. The 
Mahomt'dan community consider that music disturbs the devotions of those who are at 
prayer in mosques, and they claim the right and assert the practice of the stoppage of 
music before mosques at all hours of the day, and not only on the occasions of public 

There is, therefore, a definite conflict of statements as to the actual practice in the 
past, and it is clear to the Government that this conflict is largely due to the fact that 
very recently the subject has not attracted much attention in Calcutta, and the two 
communities have generally been prepared to accommodate one another. These condi- 
tions no longer prevail, and circumstances have arisen which make it nrcessaiy for the 
Government, in the fulfilment of their responsibility for the preservation of the peace to 
arrange for a clearer definition of the instructions which will in future be observed by 
those conducting processions in Calcutta. 

The terms of the licence will remain unaltered ; but, in older to prevent uncertainty, 
it will be necessary in all doubtful cases for the Commissioner of Police to ascertain and 
lay down for the guidance of those conducting the procession what are the hours of 
public worship. 

The Government interpret the word, " public worship " as meaning recognised 
congregational worship, and are not prepared to admit a claim which has been put for- 
ward that the time of public worship extends throughout the day. In the case of mosques 
the hours of the five recognised Mahomedan prayers wiJl be specified. In other respects 
the Commissioner will, according to the law, be guided by the requirements of the public 
peace and convenience with due regard to established piactice. In all cases it has not 
been established to the satisfaction of the Government that the general practice baa 
gone beyond the terms of the licence. At the tame time the Commissioner of Police will 
retaja the fullest discretion to secure compliance with suob orders as be may give in 


accordance with the law. If, however, a particular procession exercises its privileges 
in a manner which is calculated to give offence that procession and others will incur 
the risk of having its privileges curtailed in future. On the other hand, the Government 
do not intend that such restrictions as may b imposed on those conducting Hindu 
processions shall be extendod on account of the demand made by Mahomrdann for the 
imposition of further restrict ions. The Government have giv<*n special consideration to 
the case of the Nakhoda Mosque in Chitpore Road, and have decided that, in con- 
sequence of its size, importance and situation, an exception to the general rule will be 
made in the case of this mosque, and that all processions passing it at any time of the 
day will, when doing BO, be required to stop their music. 

These orders relate only to Calcutta. In other places different conditions have result- 
ed in the establishment of diffeient practices, and such practices will not be modified as 
a result of these orders. 

The existence of this dissension is a matter of serious concern to the Government of 
Bengal. It is, in their opinion, damaging to the reputation of the people of Calcutta for 
good citizenship, and it is the earnest wisti of His Excellency in Council that at an 
early date the two communities will show greater readiness to meet one another's wishes 
and will thereby restore the amicable relations which until quite recently have subsisted 
between them. 

Feeling in the Mofussil. 

The Government of Bengal, in a communique on the state of communal feeling in 
the mofusail, state : It is true that during the past two months an intense btate of 
anxiety has prevailed in many district*, especially in Eastern Bengal ; that both Hindu 
an<l Mahoraedan communities have been upset by rumours which they have heard, and 
that there are resultant feelings of irritation and distrust which constitute a danger 
to public peace. But it is also true that during this peri id there have been very rare 
occasions in the whole of the wide area affected in which a breach of the peace has 
occurred . 

While the Government do not minimise the insult to religious feeling which is 
implied by the destruction of images, the public should be careful not to over-estimate 
the significance of many of those incidents. In numerous cases they have attracted far 
less attention in the places where they have occurred than they have done in the Frees, 
There is abundant evidence of the success of the joint efforts of Hindus and Mahomedana 
in preserving peace and restoring confidence. 

Instructions have been given to District Magistrates to reply promptly to requests 
to verify stones which are referred to them for verification by editors of newspapers. If 
hereafter false rumours are published in the Press without enquiry the Government will 
act on the assumption that those who publish them had not reasonable grounds for 
believing m their truth. 

The Calcutta Hindus' Protest Meeting. 

To protest against the above Government communique a mammoth public 
meeting of the Hindu citizens of Calcutta was held at the Town Hall 
on the 4th July 1926. The hall was fully packed and five overflow 
meetings were held outside. The Hindus evinced tremendous enthusiasm 
and were unanimous in their opinion that the Government's action was 
illegal and that it seriously interfered with their legitimate rights and, if 
occasion arose, they would not only disobey the illegal rder but would 
even face death in the carrying out of their rights. 

Mr. J. N. BASTJ in course of his presidential address, after reviewing the 
inter-communal relations in Bengal in the past and after recalling the recent 
events leading to the present situation, said that the communique issued by 
the Government of Bengal laying down the rules as to the playing of muaio 
before mosques in and about Calcutta, caused universal surprise amongt the 
Hindus, In strange contrast to the decision of the Govt. of Bengal stands out 
the decision of the Privy Council which is the highest judicial tribunal so 
far as the British Indian Empire is concerned. After quoting the reported 
deciiioni in the matter, the speaker said that it would thus appear that the 


law required that the religious sentiments of the adherents of one or6ed 
who use a public highway, should not be over-ridden in order that the 
religious sentiments of another creed, worshipping in a place on the road- 
side, might not be ruffled. In the communique which the Government of 
Bengal has issued, it has ignored the function of an Executive Government. 
The Executive has to uphold the law. The upholding of the law may be 
unpleasant to certain individuals or communities, but the Government has 
DO option. It has to see that the requirements of law are duly complied 
with. If the object of the Government is to prevent a disturbance, the 
Government should not penalise those that act lawfully, but those that seek 
to act unlawfully. The rule which the Government seeks to lay down 
prevents some persons from proceeding in a lawful manner and tends to 
encourage some who desire to act in an unlawful manner. If the Govern- 
ment is apprehensive that some men are likely to break the law, it is the 
duty of the Government to take every means in the power to prevent the 
breaking of law. The Government should also consider the logical outcome 
of what they were doing within the last few months. The Hindus of Cal- 
cutta have had to undergo interference with some of their ancient and law- 
ful religious practices. The annual charak procession in April last was 
stopped. The Sikh procession was postponed and the Raj Rajeswara image, 
after being taken out, had to be put back. Those processions were not 
even devices to embarrass the Government or to annoy another community. 
They were time-honoured institutions. The Government has not interfered 
with the use of the public roadway for prayers, though tension of feeling 
existed, Notwithstanding the fact that such use is a serious public 
inconvenience arid is, in some quarters, regarded as a provocation, it is the 
Hindus alone that are required to give up their ancient social and religious 
practices, though such practices are within the bounds of law. The Hindus 
have felt that grave injustice has been done to them. They expected that 
the Government would hold the scales even and meet the situation with 
the strength of justice. They expect the Government to have as much 
regard for the upholding of law and order as the Government expects 
them to have. The Government should not do anything that might be 
construed as an indirect support to those that intend to break the law. The 
Hindu community does not desire to seek favoured treatment at the expense 
of any other community. The Hindus are confident that, if the Government 
stands up without vacillation to do what is right, the question of communal 
dissensions will, to a great extent, stand solved. The Hindus are passing 
through times of stress and anxiety. Apart from religious music and religi- 
ous processions, we hear of abductions of women and desecration of images 
and temples. The Hindus must organise and take up their protection in 
their own hands, in order that they may effectively withstand the unlawful 
inroads made on them. I would ask the Hindus to have confidence io 
themselves and to work steadfastly for upholding those ideals which were kept 
alive by Buddha and Sankara, by Nanak and Ramdas, by Tulsidaa and 
Chaitanya. In striving for those ideals, they will know how to weather 

The President then moved the resolutions, which were seconded by Mr. 
Bepin Chandra Pal and supported by Messrs. Tulsi Charan Goawmi, 
Padamraj Jain, Hirendranath Dutt and Sardar Hari Singh. Mr. Pal said 
that mosques abutted the highways and 1/3 9th part of the Mahomedani felt 


disturbed by tbe playing of music in tbe highways, accessible to all under 
the law. Their duty was to remove their mosques. The Government of 
Lord Lytton, Mr. Pal added, had trespassed into the function of the civil 
court and had perpetrated an anarchy worse than any perpetrated ever before. 
Mr. Goswami said that, when the communique was issued, he raised 
the cry that Lord Lytton must go. If this law was unjust, it was also wick- 
ed and he urged the Hindus to make up their minds to disobey it. Pact 
or no pact, it would not solve the Hindu-Moslem question. He characteris- 
ed the Government's action, in issuing the communique, as being " pig-headed 
and perverse." That was his feeling, he said, when he first read the 
communique and he gave public expression to it to-day. 


After several speeches the President moved the following resolutions 
which were adopted : 

" This meeting of the Hindu citizens of Calcutta and its neighbourhood 
places on record their emphatic opinion that the rule^ intended to be laid 
down by the Government regarding the issue of licences for processions 
with music through the streets of Calcutta, as appearing in the communique 
recently issued by the Government, are not only subversive of the civil 
rights of citizens but amount to an interference with the religious rights and 
usages of the Hindus as laid down in the Shastras and as enjoyed by them 
from time immemorial. 

" This meeting is further of opinion that the action of the Govern- 
ment is encouraging the view that, instead of upholding the civil rights of 
citizens, the Government makes concessions to those that break the law or 
interfere with the exercise of one's ordinary civil rights and thus encourage 
those that stand up against law and order. 

" This meeting notes with regret the difference in the treatment, by the 
Government of Bengal of the situation that has recently arisen in the matter 
of playing music before mosques from the treatment of the same situation by 
other local Governments and executive authorities, such as the C. P. Govern- 
ment, the U. P. Government and tho Magistrate of Delhi. 

" This meeting urges upon the Hindus to take all necessary and legiti- 
mate steps in order that the interference sought to be put upon them may 
be removed and they may be allowed to freely and uninterruptedly exercise 
their time-honoured rights and privileges in the matter of the performance 
of their social arid religious ceremonies/' 

The Bombay Meeting. 

Closely following the Calcutta meeting another public meeting was 
held at Bombay on the 25th July in pursuance of an appeal of Mr. Bharucha 
to devise ways and means for putting a stop to communal feuds. Mr, 
BHARUCHA, referring to the sufcidal communal struggles, explained how 
the bureaucracy and its agents who were styled friends and saviours of 
India were fanning the communal flame. Communal rioting had begun at 
Shahjehanpur in 1923 and had gradually developed to the stage when the 
whole of northern India and Bengal was affected. It was reported that 
Muslim Goondas of Bengal who had taken a prominent part in the recent 
riots in Calcutta, had said that they had nothing to do with the Hindus 


but they only wanted to drive the Marwaris out of Calcutta. That showed 
that they were inspired by the commercial opponents of the Marwaris in 
Calcutta, Again, Bihar and Malabar were famine-stricken and there was 
so much poverty that even women covered themselves only with a small 
piece of cloth. There was unusual depression in the trades and industries 
of the country and if that state of affairs continued. Bolshevism would be 
fast coming to India because of the Government's policy. British imperialism 
and Indian communalism were the only two causes responsible for chaos in 
the country. Mr. Bbarucha regretted the attitude of Dr, Kitchlew and 
Mr. Jinnah who favoured communal electorates. He was also grieved to 
hear that the Hindu Sabha was going to run the elections in the Punjab. 
He was glad to learn that the Khilafat Committee was not going to do so. 
He was more glad to read the recent announcements of Dr. Ansari and 
Moulana Mazrul Haque. 

Mr. Bharucha then said that they all must rise above parties and 
communities and must consider the cause of the country above everything, 
if they claimed Swaraj as their goal. There was one common enemy of all 
communities and sects in India and that was British imperialism which 
would keep them in permanent subjection, if it could. It was their duty to 
fight it and to unite for fighting it. He, therefore, appealed to all the leaders 
to summon a round table conference and put their heads together in search 
o! unity. It was only by unity and unity alone that India, their motherland, 
could be saved. 

The president, Mr. J, E. MEHTA said that communal strife was the out- 
come of the political struggle for loaves and fishes and thought that the Hindu- 
Muslim problem was a very intricate question to be tackled. The important 
question to be solved was the political tension in the country. He had realized 
that the Swarajists had committed a great mistake in putting the Council-entry 
programme before the public. But there was no other alternative, as their 
leader was in jail and the situation demanded immediate action. But it was 
now time to consider avenues of unity. After Mr. Lloyd George's steel- 
frame speech which was resented strongly all over India, had come another 
speech from Earl Winterton, in which he had said that it was the British 
bayonets that protected the Indian peoples and communities. This was a 
serious challenge to Indian honour, but it was not much resented. That 
showed the spirit of resignation, if not indifference. 

Referring to the rumour about the proposal to fix the exchange at Is. 
6d. to a rupee, the President said that, if that exchange was fixed, India 
would lose not less than Rs. 15 crores every year, All this demanded 
united action from Indians and he heartily supported Mr. Bharucha'a 
resolution. He then put the resolution to vote which was unanimously 
adopted. The following is the text of the resolution : 

" That, in view of the increasingly intricate and exceedingly grave 
situation that has arisen in the country, a round table conference of the 
leaders of all parties should be held at the earliest possible date to decide 
on a common policy and present a united front to the bureaucracy arid that 
this meeting further requests the president and the members of the Working 
Committee to convene an emergent meeting of the All-India Congress Com- 
mittee to adopt such line of pint action as the round table conference may 
decide and as may be consistent with the present Congress creed/' 


The Bengal Presidency Muslim League's Views. 

Mr, Qutbuddin Ahmad, Honorary Secretary. Bengal Presidency Muslim 
League issued the following circular for publication to the Press early in 
August 1926 : 

The question of playing music before mosques has come to the forefront only a few 
years back and no importance was ever attached to it by the saner section of the com- 
munity. The League came into existence in 1905 and had to take part in the several 
burning questions of the day like the demolition of Wazu Khana of the Machlibazar 
Mosque at Cawnpore under the City Improvement Scheme when the authorities shot the 
Musalmanp, the Laskarpur mosques and grave yards at Mum in pur, the Calcutta Dis- 
turbances in 1918 as an outcome of sacrilegious language used by the Indian Daily News 
on the Holy Prophet's tomb, when the Military fired inside the Nakhoda Mosque and 
wounded those who had gathered inside the mosque for mid-day prayer and the blasphem- 
ous attack on our Holy Prophet, the Quran and Islam in the columns of the Epiphany of 
the 1 8th January, 1919, but never the League had to face a question of such minor 
importance followed with such grave results as the violent outburst of the Hindu and 
MuBsalroan masses and organised mob violence spreading fast all over Bengal. The 
Calcutta Disturbances of 1918 were ingeniously directed to the Marwari quarters and 
a Jain temple was desecrated for which the League passed a resolution of strong con- 
demnation and forwarded it to the Mahabir Jain Samiti and the rioting then did not 
continue for more than three days. The prolongation of this riot started on the 2nd 
April, 1926, which continues to this day is a mystery which is baffling to ns unless we 
go into the deeper significance of the trouble which may possibly be due to the intense 
exploitation of the pauperised masses by the traders or in the wo'ds of Lnrd Lytton due 
to the Indianization of the administration which has naturally led to rivalry and die: 
turbances between the Mahomedan and Hindu elements which compete for power. It 
is a matter of greatest sorrow and despair that such a riot ia possible in the 20th century 
and that a false cry of religion in danger is raised and the murderers slake their thirst 
of blood and glorify their nefarious work by the aureole of heroism ? Pursued in cold 
blood an investigation of the roots of the trouble leads us back to a trivial squabble over 
nothing. A tiny fire on a little bit of straw, which might easily have been crushed 
between the fingers, has been blown into the haystack. The result is a conflagration which 
baa laughed at all efforts to put it down. 

The playing of music before mosques is of recent growth. The Mussalmans used to 
ignore it altogether as a matter beneath consideration. It is to the Hindus a spiritual 
tradition to regard every sacred place of any community as an object of worship and 
they used to stop music before mosques not at the request of Mussalmans but out of an 
inborn religious tendency of theirs to respect every sacred place, be it Christian, Buddhist 
or Mussalman, and this tendency has developed into customary usage and created mutual 
love and good-will to res pec t the religious susceptibilities of each other. You will still 
notice the Hindus prostrate themselves before mosques and offer " batashas " before a 
Mussalman tomb. The present deplorable situation has been undoubtedly created by the 
reactionary elements of the Hindus and their reactionary leaders. 

I humbly submit that the playing of music before mosques should not be a religious 
issue when people of other denominations are concerned. Our Holy Prophet (may peace 
be on him) himself allowed the playing of music inside the mosque during the Id Festival 
and asked Hazrat Ayesha to witness the same (Sahib Bokhari). He even received the 
non-Muslim delegation of Yemen in the mosque and allowed them to stay there. The 
"Khalifatul Muslims at Constantinople used to attend the Salam Alek ceremony on Friday 
at the St. Sophia Mosque accompanied by Turkish Bands. The Mahmel procession to 
Mecca was always accompanied by the Egyptian Bands. During the Moslem Rule Bam 
Lila used to be held in front of Jam-i-Masjid at Delhi and the Royalties used to gather 
at the mosque and garland the hero of the play. In Calcutta in a Mahomedan family 
musical marriage procession was started from the house in the compound of which a mos- 
que was situated. Certain Akharas with music start from a mosque even to this day and 
all other akharas visit the Mowlally Darga adjacent to the mosque and play music for 
hours together without any protest from any quarter. 

I am therefore of opinion that it has nothing to do with Shariat and has been invented 
by self-interested persons or party as a counterblast to cow-sacrifice in order to cause 
wanton irritation among the ignorant section of the community: The cow-sacrifice was 
made a religious issue since the eighties of the last century just at the time the Indian 
National Congress came into existence. It has become * veritable hornet's nest to the 



Hindu leaders who were anxious to find a like snub to the Mnsaalmans. They hare now 
bitted the playing of music before mosques as a weapon to cause irritation to the MusBal- 
mans. It has undoubtedly become a customary usage that the Hindus used to respect 
the religious susceptibilities of the Mussalmans out of mutual good will and fellow feeling 
and likewise the Mussalmans ; and if the Hindus do not observe the same respect what we 
need to get before spontaneously and from a loving heart we cannot force them to do so. 
Have the Mussalmans any justification to force the Hindus to stop their religions music 
before mosques in a public thoroughfare, have we got any right to compel them to respect 
our religious scruples and, in case of their refusal, should we resort to violence and compel 
(hem to submit to our dictate 1 

The Indian National Union. 

The extent to which the Hindu-Moslem communal tension was at this 
time exercising the minds of our foremost national leaders can be 
gauged by the important manifesto, in the shape of a circular letter, sent 
out by Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Pandit Matilal Nehru and the 
influential support which the proposal put forward there had already had. 
The manifesto which had been in circulation among the prominent Hindu 
and Mussalman leaders for the last two months was handed over to the 
Associated Press on the 31st July 1926. It bore the signatures of Maulana 
Abul Kalam Azad and Pandit Motilal Nehru. It was drafted by the 
signatories in consultation with each other about the middle of May last and 
was sent round to certain selected leaders for their approval. The delay in 
publication was due partly to the fact that Pandit Motilal Nehru took his 
holiday soon after the draft was prepared and partly to the time taken 
to reply by the gentlemen who were approached. The following expressed 
their entire agreement with the objects and principles stated in the mani- 
festo and also agreed to join the movement initiated thereby : Pundit Nehru, 
Eight Hon'ble V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Hakim Ajmal 
Khan, Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, Sir Zulfikar Alikhan, Sir P. C. Ray, Dr. M. 
A. Ansari, Messrs. Sen Gupta, Tassaduq Ahmed Sherwani, S. Srinivasa 
lyengar, Chowdhuri Khaliquzaman, Lala Dunichand and Dr. S, Mahomed 
and Maharaja Sir Mahomed Khan of Mahmudabad. The manifesto runs 
as follows : 


" Dear Sir, You have no doubt realised the evident danger of the new 
phase into which the communal movements in India are now entering. The 
situation is going daily from bad to worse and we feel that if no immediate 
organised effort is made, this rising tide will soon' overwhelm the whole field of 
our political and civic life. You will perhaps agree with us that in the main, 
our present troubles are due to the fact that by an indiscriminate mixing 
up of the politic il and religious issues, we have initiated a revivalist section 
which, because of the existence of heterogenous elements in our country, 
makes a cultural and social conflict inevitable, and it is clear that the only 
real remedy which can save us from disaster is the deliberate establishment 
in our midst of a national consciousness and a national atmosphere in which 
religious and communal conflicts and passions will be relegated to a subor 
dipate and a lower plane. 


A Non-Communal Association Essential. 

" But the question which is troubling the best Indian minds to-day is 
how to achieve this object effectively. The attitude of general inaction and 
of passive disapproval which has so far boon maintained, is an index not 
so much of our indifference to the dangers of the situation as of the complex 
and delicate nature of the problems involved and of the tremendous 
difficulties which have to be f-icod before reaching the resolution. Further 
inaction will, however, only multiply these difficulties and make it impossi- 
ble to grapple with them even with such chance of success a9 we have at 
present. The new trend of tho Hindu M,\ha Sabha movement on the one 
eide and of the Muslim communal movements on the other threiten a 
crisis which makes some positive action imperative on the part of those 
who yet happen to retain their balance. Accordingly, we have decided to 
start a movement to rally to a centre and organise those sections of enligh- 
tened Indians who agree with us that communalism is a negation of nation- 
alism and that continued communal conflicts will inevitably lead to our 
utter political, economical and social ruin. It is evident that a complete 
elimination of communal conflict from our national life must be preceded by 
suitable steps to organise our civic life in such a way as to make violent 
communal outbursts difficult, if not impossible and to establish points of 
contact between the two communities to prepare a way for the adjustment 
of mutual differences You will agree that by far ^he largest sections of the 
Hindus and the Mussalmans in India want to live together in peace, if not 
in unity. The peasants, the industrial classes and the wealthy are sure 
to welcome any movement for peace and unity and be ready to co-operate 
in the materialisation of its aims. Among the educated classes, the major 
portion would willingly help freeing civic life from the constant dread and 
evident dangers of violent communal outbursts. If, therefore, a movement 
for unity and peace is launched, it is bound to receive a ready and generous 
response from the people. On the contrary, if even at this stage, organised 
effort is not made in this direction, all these various sections would 
gradually drift towards communalism and ultimately get involved in struggle. 
It is time that wo should make a determined effort to rally and organise 
these sections and, in this way isolate, weaken and discredit these mischievous 
elements in our society which are really responsible for the present crisis. 
A movement of this nature can be effectively carried on only by an highly 
organised body of men of all communities who are themselves absolutely 
free from communal bias of any kind, and are united together by a common 
bond of fellowship in the struggle against communalism. For the purpose 
of bringing together such a body of men, it is necessary to arrive at a clear 
understanding of certain principles which are to guide them in their relations 
to each other and the public at large. We are thus inevitably led to think 
of organising a new association or party. Our proposal may, at first sight, 
appear to be only an attempt to add one more to the numerous parties that 
came into being with the avowed object of evolving order out of chaos but 
only succeeded in making confusion worse confounded. But a little reflec- 
tion will show that we are scrupulously eliminating the one element which, 
as experience has shown, was solely responsible for the failure of those 
parties, viz., their purely communal basis. We claim no originality that ours 
is the first serious endeavour to carry out the idea in practice. We are, 
therefore, approaching friend* whom wo believa to bd above all oommuoij 


prejudice to invite their help and co-operation in this important undertaking. 
Generally speaking, the following may be taken as the guiding principles 
we have referred to above : (a) full liberty of religious view and practices ; 
(b) absolute tolerance of the views and practices of others ; (c) adjustment 
i fcommunal relations on the basis of strict legal rights of communities and 

Proposed Indian National Union. 

" We propose that the new organisation be called the Indian National 
Union. The immediate obicct will be to avoid communal conflicts in their 
present forms. The end ultimately in view will be to bring about a 
thorough understanding between the different communities on a solid and 
permanent basis. All Indians of whatever community who subscribe to the 
above principlesi will be welcomed as members of the Union, provided they 
do not belong to any communal organisation. It is evident that the inclusion 
of those who belong to a movement, which seeks to enforce the rights of 
only one community against another, would defeat our whole purpose. We 
fully expect that the success of the national movement we are trying to 
start will, in due course, attract many members of the existing communal 
organisations and that they will find no difficulty in joining us by retiring 
from the latter. It is highly desirable that the proposed organisation should 
be truly national and wholly non-political, and that, except for the bar on 
members of communal organisations, no party shall be excluded so as to make 
it possible for all shades of political thought to join. It will be noticed that 
all of those who have agreed to join the proposed union, do not hold identi- 
cal views on political questions. We have considered it necessary to make 
this point quite clear at the very start. The general attitude of such a 
party towards the various communities or towards those that may arise 
hereafter, will have to be determined exclusively by reason and justice, as 
our main object will be a persistent propaganda against all forms of com- 
munalism. The details of these and other cognate matters can only be 
settled at the preliminary meeting of the Uuion and it is unnecessary to 
deal with them at this stage. 

Mixed Boards to Settle Disputes. 

" It may, however, be noted that the old idea of establishing mixed boards 
for the settlement of mutual disputes has never so far been given a fair 
trial and it is time that serious effort was made to try this experiment on an 
extensive basis. We can gradually train panchayats to act equitably in the 
discharge of their duties and it may be possible to take the principles in- 
corporated in the resolutions of the Unity Conference at Delhi as a basis. 

A Proposed Preliminary Meeting. 

" We are fully alive to the difficulties of carrying out the programme 
which we are putting before you, but we are doing so with the conviction that 
there is no lack of men and women in the country entirely free from 
communal bias who will only be too glad to help in overcoming all obsta- 
cles. We hope you will give to the matter the attention it deserves and 
will send your considered opinion at yonr early convenience. We propose 
to call K meeting of those who intimate their approval of our suggestions on 
an eaiiy date at some convenient centre, with the object of formally 
the movement, the framing of the neoouary rules and the 


election of office-bearers. Meanwhile, the undersigned will act as a 
provisional committee and appoint a provisional Secretary. It is requested 
that all replies be addressed to the latter at Anand Bhavan, Allahabad." 

The Preliminary Meeting at Delhi. 

A preliminary meeting of those who expressed their agreement with the 
objects and principles stated in the manifesto was held at Delhi on the 10th 
September 1926. The following is a summary of the informal talk and deci- 
sions reached at the meeting and was issued by the Secretary after a w jek : 

" It was resolved unanimously that the Indian National Union was not 
intended to interfere with the work of internal reform, undertaken by 
different communities or to require any community to suspend its social or 
other reforming activities. The Union was intended to be a meeting place 
for all who regarded as undesirable the aggressive spirit fostered by mis- 
taken activities directed by one community against another which were 
calculated to obstruct and retard the real progress and ultimate welfare of 
the country as a whole. It should further be a meeting place for those who 
believe that India's lasting salvation was to be achieved by united efforts 
and not by inter-communal struggle. It was not possible for a communal 
organisation to organise different communities along lines of seli-help and by 
fitting them mentally and physically to contribute their best to the attainment 
of a united nation. But, unfortunately, with the best of intentions and the 
purest of motives, indiscriminate activities of certain communal organisations! 
orginally meant for the right kind of activities, had, in the hands of short- 
sighted followers, brought about a mentality which even the authors of the 
movement could not approve and were, therefore, proving detrimental to the 
cause of the country. It was, therefore, essential to bring together all those 
who had not become too inseparably identified rightly or wrongly, with such 
activities to act as peace-makers between the contending parties and to estab- 
lish points of contact between the fissiparous elements, who should exert 
themselves on behalf of tolerance, peace and unity. 

11 There was a general agreement among all present that, in deciding the 
question whether certain existing organisations were objectionable from this 
point of view, their present activities alone should be the data for judgment. 
Some members brought before the meeting the names of certain organisations, 
Hindu, Muslim and Sikh, but, after the most careful consideration, it was 
resolved that the declaration of the names considered objectionable from 
the Union's point of view should be left to the central board. 

A Sub-Committee Appointed. 

11 A subcommittee consisting of Mrs. Naidu, Maulana Abdul Ealam Azad, 
Messrs. Girdbarilal, K. San tan am, Asaf Ali and Shankerlal, was formed to 
draft (he rules and regulations of the Union and to circulate a report of the 
informal meetings of the sub-committee for inviting criticisms. The present 
office of the Union was decided to remain at Delhi and Lala Shanker Lai 
is to act as provisional Secretary. The sub-committee met on the llth and 
12th, most of the members attending and drafted certain rules and regulations, 


" The following are the draft rules and regulations of the Indian National 
Union ; Object* : To promote and foater tht growth of a united Indian 


nation and to remove all causes of inter-communal discord and separatist 
tendencies. To achieve these objects, the Union shall undertake a vigorous 
propaganda through the press and the platform and to foster a spirit of true 
nationalism and genuine patriotism among the people of India, it will try 
to create gradually such atmosphere in the country as would facilitate a 
settlement of all communal questions in a noble spirit of compromise and 
mutual good-will. Regarding the differences not settled within a reasonable 
time by common understanding, the Union will, with due regard to the 
equities of the situation, give its own finding and take steps to secure for it 
the approbation of the country. 

" Membership : Every Indian, not under 18 years of age who subscribes 
to the aims and objects of the Union, shall be eligible to become a member 
of the Union on signing a declaration form and pledge and every member 
shall pay Re, 1 as annual subscription, None who continues to be a member 
of any organisation declared communal by the Central Board of the Union, 
shall be eligible to become a member of the Union. (A communal organisa- 
tion is one whose present activities are calculated to retard or obstruct the 
growth of a common Indian nationhood). 


"The following is the pledge: "I do hereby solemnly affirm that 
(l) the only way to India's lasting prosperity and freedom lies in realisation by 
all communities of India of a common united nationality and harmonious co- 
operation between them all. (2) My sole objective shall be the good of the 
nation as a who'e. (3) My guiding principles in regard to communal dis- 
putes shall be as follows : (a) full liberty of religious views and practices : 
(b) absolute tolerance of the views and practices of others ; and (c) adjust- 
ment of comnmnal relations on the basis of rights and mutual obligations 
of communities and individuals. (4)1 will do all in my power to prevent 
communal disputes and never be a party to any of them. (5) I wilt spare no 
efforts to foster a spirit of true nationalism, patriotism and harmonious 
co-operation within the sphere of my influence. (5) I neither am nor will 
be a member of any organisation declared communal by the Central Board 
of the Union. 1 ' 

Its Reception by the People. 

The inauguration of the Union was, however, received by the people of 
both communities with mixed feelings. Whilst there was a general approval 
of the excellent aims and objects set forth in the manifesto and it was even 
recognised that the authors of the document and their supporters meant well, 
the feeling was general that Pandit Motilal Nehru and his political supporters 
were the last persons to attempt a work of this kind with any chances of 
success. The Hindu newspapers in the Punjab which speak with authority 
in the name of their communal organisations wholly distrusted Pandit 
Motilal Nehru and those who shared his political opinions and endorsed his 
obstructive methods of political work. They maintained that incalculable 
harm had been done to the best interests of the Hindu community by the 
unwise and mischievous non-co-operation movement which was so fervently 
sponsored by Pandit Motilal and his co-adjutors, as also by the 
subsequent Swarajist activities of these people. The existing unsatisfactory 


state of affairs in the Province was largely attibuted by the Hindus to the 
activities of the Congress from 1920 onwards. In condemning the mani- 
festo the Late Swami Shradhanand said : " I have gone through the 

Nehru-Azad manifesto carefully and do not see what it aims at I 

consider that the Conference made a mistake in keeping itself clear of the 
political issues involved in Hindu-Muslim unity. The aims of the new party 
are unexceptionable, but the question is where to get people who do not 
belong to any communal organisation. I could understand the new party 
fighting shy of confirmed communalists, but if they exclude all those who 
belong to any communal organisation they shall have to work without the 

help of those who really have a hold on the masses I find that 

Pandit Malaviya and several other prominent Hindus, who are the real 
leaders of the community, do not appear to have been consulted, because, 
forsooth, they belong to Hindu communal organisations ; while Hakim Ajmal 
Khan, who only lately made such a bigoted communal speech as chairman of 
the reception committee of the Khilafat Conference of Delhi, has been wel- 
comed. I feel the new party may not prove an intolerant sect of non-com- 
munalists, which might defeat the very purpose for which it is inaugurated." 

The Mahomedans were no less bitter in their emphatic condemnation of 
Pandit Motilal Nehru and his supporters. The " Muslim Outlook " of Lahore 
dealt with the manifesto in an article full of gall and wormwood entitled 
" The Latest Fraud/' 

The Bengal Muslim Party. 


The following manifesto was issued by Sir Abdur Rahim on the 6th 
September 1926 : 

" I am being repeatedly asked by many friends in Calcutta and the 
mofussil to issue an appeal to the Mahomedan Constituencies in view of 
the forthcoming elections. I have from time to time expressed my views 
in no ambiguous terms on the general political situation and the attitude 
which the Mussalmans should adopt and I am glad o find that the suggestion 
which I made in my speech at Aligarh that the Muslim members returned 
by the Muhammadan Constituencies in the Legislative Councils and the 
Assembly should form themselves into a party, has not been accepted with 
practical unanimity all over India. Even the Swarajists, who are still 
trying their best to entrap some Muhammadaus to buttress their tottering 
organisation, are unwilling or unable to adopt a policy of toleration and 
genuine nationalism which would accept recognition as much of the rights 
and interests of the Mussalmans as of other communities. The Congress is 
equally dominated by militant communal Hindu politicians and the political 
attitude of the Responsivists whose high priesta are Pt. Madan Mohan 
Malaviya, Dr. Moonji and in Bengal Mr. B, Chakravarty towards Muslim 
interests hardly requires elucidation. 

" I understand from what is appearing in certain newspapers and from 
what has been reported to me that the Congress, the Swarajists and 
Responsivists are all united in one thing and that is to keep me and the 


party I represent out of the Council or to divide the Muslim members in 
the Council into conflicting groups. In fact, no secret is made of this, but 
what naturally is not disclosed by our political opponents is the method they 
are adopting to secure their object. They are relying on the services of 
two classes of men, (l) some Mussulmans who are so greatly indebted to the 
Congress or the Swaraj Party or to some of their important leaders that 
they find themselves obliged to work for them either openly or secretly, 
quite irrespective of any other consideration, (2) those Mussalmans who 
have personal ambitions of their own and are trying to form a group at any 
cost so that they may be in a position to bargain with any party that may 
emerge into power, whether that party be that of Pt. Malaviya and Mr. 
Byomkesh Chakravarty or of Mr. J. M. Sen Gupta. All these gentlemen 
for purposes of Election may even feel no hesitation in publicly professing 
dissatisfaction with the Swarajists or the Eesponsivists and vehemently 
asserting their independence and courage but always keeping their eye on 
the main chance. I wish to warn my community against the activities of 
both those classes of men. 

" 1 am further aware that there are individuals, who, for one reason or 
another, are actuated by unfriendly feelings towards me personally. Nor 
is it possible for me to minimise the fact that those feelings are being 
sedulously exploited by the unscrupulous propaganda of some Hindu politi- 
cians who have been straining every nerve to oust me from the political 
arena on the alleged ground that my principles of action are ' communal ' and 
anti-national. I need hardly observe that the allegation is wholly false and 
unfounded and is refuted by every record of my public life unless my politi- 
cal opponents base their allegation on the mere fact that I have been trying 
to impress upon my community the need for safeguarding its own political, 
religious and civic rights and interests by means of constitutional measure, 
white making its best contribution towards advancing India's cause. This, 
indeed, I regard it to be my obvious duty to inculcate, not only because self- 
defence is th : first law of nature but because I believe that India can have 
no political future, without the hearty co-operation of the Muslims. 

" It is well known that I am the President of the Bengal Muslim Party 
which was formed on the necond day of the First Session of the Council held 
this year, and the political principles of the party are fully explained in the 
manifesto which has alrer.dy been published in the newspapers and dis- 
tributed in the various centres of Muslim population. All the non-Swarajist 
Muslim members with the exception of one or two free lances have hitherto 
acted together in that party and I recommend to the Muhammadan Con- 
stituencies those candidates who are willing to act as bonafide and loyal 
members of a United Muslim party based on those principles. 

" I am willing to offer my services once again for the Council but if my 
services are to be of any use there, I shall expect the Muhammadan Con- 
stituencies not merely to return me but also men with whom as colleagues 
it will be possible for me to work in unision and harmony iu those difficult 
and critical times." 


Subsequently Sir Abdur Rahim issued another manifesto on the 18th 
September in the course of which he said ; 


11 1 hold clear and definite views which I have never hesitated to express 
about the unwisdom of pursuing a policy of blind obstruction in Legislative 
Council, nor have I seen eye to eye with the Swarajists in many of their 
tactics. I do, however, strongly protest against the method that is being 
adopted in certain quarters in order to secure a body of legislators willing 
to make the best use of the present constitution, doubtless a laudable object. 
The Swarajists will take care of themselves and all that I wish to do is to 
dispel certain false and mischievous impressions that are being created with 
regard to ray attitude and that of the Bengal Muslim Party which I 
represent. I am undoubtedly trying my best to bring all the Muslim 
members of the Council on the same platform, but I wish emphatically to 
repudiate the suggestion that is being made from day to day in some form 
or other that ray object in doing so is, by capturing the Governmenti to 
secure the spoils and to injure the interests of the Hindus. I venture to 
think that the proper way of persuading the representatives of the people 
to make the best use of the present constitution, defective as it is, is not 
to excite communal passions of the Hindus or of the Muslims by telling 
each group in turn that, unless you consolidate your forces, your interests 
will be in jeopardy at the hands of the representatives of the other com- 
munity, but to tell them both that if you act together you can do a fair 
amount of good work for the benefit of the people, such as, by instituting 
free and compulsory education among the masses, by improving their health 
conditions, by ameliorating the lot of the ryots and the labourer and by 
organising the right sort of secondary, technical and higher education along 
the lines which will help the economical development of the country as 
well as the interests of science and culture. That is the objective which 
the Bengal Muslim Party has placed before the country. 

11 We, of the Bengal Muslim Party, have, it is true, adopted a com- 
munal designation for our political organisation, but all political organisations 
in this country have in fact been of a communal character. I fail to 
understand why the representatives of each community, while fully undertak- 
ing to see that its special rights arid interests are safeguarded, should not 
bo able to combine and work together for the common cause of the country. 
That is the ideal which we have set before ourselves and that, I venture 
to think, is the only practicable ideal so long as there remain differentiated 
communities in India. We definitely set our face against the domination of 
one class or community by another. If it be possible after the next elec- 
tions to work the transferred departments through Ministers, I for one 
would insist on the co-operation of Hindu and Muslim members on equal 
terms, inevitably excluding only the section which refused to utilise the 
present constitution. I must say, however, that if a sufficient number of 
Indian members of the Legislative Council apply themselves earnestly to 
constructive work, very good results may be achieved even without Minis- 
ters. In proof of this, I point to the Legislative Assembly which has to its 
credit very important achievements though there had been no Ministers 
there. Some might say because there had been no Ministers, No one will 
deny that the Ministers have to face very great difficulties which I pointed 
out in some detail before the Muddiman Committee and the prospect of 
being called upon to fill one of these offices cannot evoke much enthusiasm 
in the breast of any well-informed politician. Certainly, it would not in 



" I muit also frankly state that if the representatives of the Mussahnans 
of Bengal are resolved no longer to be the dependents of any Hindu organi- 
sation, they are equally resolved not to be at the beck and call of the Govern- 
ment. They, along with the rest of the Mussalmans of India, are now 
determined to close their ranks and to stand firm on their own legs, while 
offering friendly co-operation to either in the case of India's political ad- 
vance with a view to promoting the welfare of the general population. They 
will not flinch from offering stern opposition to the Government or to any 
political party in the country, whenever it is found necessary to do so in the 
interests of the country or for the protection and advancement of the interests 
of their own community which, in the present circumstances, require their 
unremitting vigilance," 

The Viceroy on C o m m u n a 1 i 8 m . 

The C h e 1 m s f o r d Club Speech. 

The speech made by H. E, Lord Irwin at the Chelmsford Club, Simla 
on the 17th July 1926 on the communal question was almost the first 
utterance of his, since his assumption of office, on a live topic engaging the 
attention of the Indian public. In the course of a long speech the 
Viceroy said that as in some quarters blame had been attached to com- 
munal representation as being the cause of friction, some advantage might 
be gained by stating the reasons for its existence and the present policy 
of the Government regarding it. He greatly hoped that the time might 
come when, with general consent, the necessity for such special re- 
presentation would no longer be felt, but to-day statutory arrangements 
were in force. Representation in the Legislatures was the result of a com- 
pact to which Indian opinion at the time of the introduction of the reforms 
desired effect to be given. As regards local bodies the decision regarding 
them fell within the sphere of " Transferred" administration, with which the 
Government of India had no direct deal. The Franchise Committee found 
the opinion unanimous in favour of communal electorates. All communities 
were thus enabled and, indeed, action could hardly be justified on any other 
grounds, freely to take part in fashioning India's destiny and the opportu- 
nity was ensured against any community at the outset being impeded in 
making a joint contribution to a common task. 

It was suggested that the hopes or fears of modification or extension of 
these special privileges were in part reasonable for the present discontent. 
These things could come within the purview of the Royal Commission, but 
the Viceroy made it plain on behalf of the Government of India, that in ad- 
vance of the statutory enquiry, there is no intention of curtailing or of ex- 
tending the present scope of these special statutory arrangements. 

Proceeding, the Viceroy remarked that he had anxiously weighed the 
possibility of himself convening an All-India conference to consider the 
present situation. If he could think there was real likelihood, or even a 
real chance of such action effecting an improvement he should not be deterred 
from adopting it by the inevitable risk of failure. He trusted, however, that 
as time went on there would be a mutual disposition among those who could 
peak for their great communities to take such bilateral undertaking in the 


cause of peace as would reflect the wishes of a substantial majority of the 
opinion of both communities. But there was much to be done before they 
reach this happier stage. 

He recalled that the Unity Conference! held in October, 1924, had not 
succeeded in producing a calmer atmosphere which was hoped of it. It 
failed, and every similar attempt would fail so long as a conference was not 
preceded by any adequate change of heart and feeling throughout the com- 
munities. The two communities should first bring themselves to judge the 
matters in dispute with a far greater measure of toleration and restraint than 
unhappily prevails at present. The more he pondered over the problem the 
more clearly he felt that the first work to be done was by the leaders within 
their own ranks and the future of their community and the country alike 
demanded it. Let them throw themselves, into a nobler struggle, the fight 
for toleration. He saw before him two ancient and highly organized so- 
cieties with able and esteemed public men as their recognised leaders. He 
could not conceive that a really sincere and sustained appeal by them to the 
rank and file of their co* religionists, sustained by active propaganda of the 
new gospel of peace, would go unheeded. In past centuries each community 
had made great contributions to the annals of history and civilization in 
India. He refused to believe that they could make no contribution now to 
rescue the good name of India from the hurt which their present discord 
inflicted upon it. 

Finally, the Viceroy made a fervent appeal in the name of Indian 
National life and in the name of religion to all in each community who held 
positions in various spheres of public life to work untiringly for the new 
atmosphere of trust. He appealed in the name of national life because 
communal tension was eating into it as a cancer. It had suspended its acti- 
vities and ranged component parts into hostile camps. He appealed in the 
Dame of religion because there could be no greater tragedy than that religion, 
which should be the expression and the support of man's highest instincts, 
should be prostituted by an alliance with actions through which those ins- 
tincts are distorted and disgraced. Such a development, if it were unchecked, 
could only end in the infliction of a mortal wound upon human character, 
upon India and upon the cause of that religion in whose guise it was allowed 
to masquerade. 

The Poona Speech. 

Another happy pronouncement was made by His Excellency Lord Irwin 
on July 28th at Poona on the Hindu-Muslim question in which he reiterated 
his deep anxiety to ease the tension. " I am determined," the Viceroy told 
the Mahomedans who presented him with an address, '* with your help and 
with the help of the Hindu community to remove this blot from the fair name 
of India." It was evidently in consequence of this earnest desire DO do some- 
thing towards the solution of the problem that he had asked his colleague, 
Sir B. N. Mitra, to interview the Hindu and Mahomedan leaders in Bengal. 
The exact nature of the conversations was not authoritatively stated 
in public, but immediate efforts were directed to the formation of conciliation 
and arbitration boards composed of delegates from both the communities* 
Replying to the deputation the Viceroy said : 

" You have asked me to safeguard the interests of your oo-religioniits 
from the evil effects of communal dissensions which unhappily ara now to 


prominent in Indian life. It is hardly necessary for me to speak at great 
length to-day on this question, as I discussed it fully when addressing the 
Chelmsford Club at Simla a week or two ago. I am blind to none of 
the disturbing possibilities which lurk in it and I am determined, with your 
help and with the help of the Hindu community, to remove this blot from 
the fair name of India. Peace and order must be preserved, but I cannot 
believe that it is beyond the power of the loaders of each community to 
bring home to their more hot-headed fellows the futility and the peril of 
these outbursts. Do not think that this means the surrender of any principle 
that are dear to you or the denial of a single tenet of your great religion. 
1 ask that of no man. I think that, in no quarter where the facts of the 
situation are squarely faced, will there be a disposition to deny that many 
things are done to-day in the name of loyalty to religion, which falsify and 
betray the fundamental instincts of humanity from which all religion takes 
its root. 

" The question of communal representation about which you have ex- 
pressed anxiety ia of great complexity. As I have said elsewhere its only 
justification is that it should be the means through which every com- 
munity should feel free to give what it can to the common cause of the 
service of India. But if this ultimate purpose is obscured and if communal 
representation comes to be regarded as an end in itself and thus has the 
effect of narrowing the horizon of our loyalty, what was designed to promote 
the cause of unity quickly becomes the seed-bed of division. When different 
communities have to live together it is incumbent upon each to recognise 
that the cause of peace demands a wide measure of mutual toleration and 
restraint. That which we claim for ourselves, we must be ready to accord 
to our neighbours. This spirit, if it may but grow, will be found to be a 
better and more lasting solvent of the present discords than any artificial 
methods of representation. But, until we can reach this state, communal 
representation in some form is likely to be necessary and it is probable that 
any substantial modification of it must largely depend upon the general 
consent of all communities ". 

The Indian Christians on Communalism. 

The All India Conference of Indian Christians presented an address 
to His Excellency the Viceroy at Simla on the 1st September 1926 under the 
leadership of the Hon'ble Raja Sir Harnam Singh Ahluwalia, The deputa- 
tion was representative and influential. In the course of their address 
they stated : 

11 We view with concern the increasing tension which marks the rela- 
tions between the two great communities of India. In meeting this situation 
the Government has accepted the principle of communal representation in the 
Legislature, tut in recent years this principle has been even extended to 
the services. As regards the first, our community, except in the Madras 
Presidency, have been merged in the non-Mohamedan constituencies. We 
have accepted this piovision, not that we believe the system gives our com- 
xnumty adequate representation, but because we have set our faces against 
w>y practice which will still further divide thi voters along communal 


interests. With the increasing friction, our chances in the political life of the 
country become more remote, as the non-Mohamedan const! tuencieg tend to 
become the strongholds of communalism. This is not the occasion to place 
definite proposals before Your Excellency but we trust that the interests of our 
community will not be overlooked. As regards the second, we regret that 
the extension of the principle of communal representation to the public 
services has also been accepted. We would urge upon Your Excellency that 
merit should constitute the main condition for admission to, as well as 
promotion in, Government service. In the case of the backward classes, in the 
opinion of our community, it is incumbent on Government to provide those 
educational facilities whice will enable their members to compete on eqaal 
terms. To us the efficiency and purity of the public services is a guarantee that 
the humblest of His Majesty's subjects in India can continue to live without 
lot or hindrance, and we express the hope that high standard, irrespective 
of communal considerations, will be preserved intact. 7 ' 

Lord Olivier on Communalism. 

The following is the correspondence between Sir Michael O'Dwyer and 
Lord Olivier in the " Times " arid the views of Lord Olivier in the " Times " 
concerning the communal trouble in India. Lord Olivier wrote on July 7 
as follows : 

Sir, The very interesting despatch from your correspondent which appears in " Tho 
Times" to-day confirms the correction which 1 have offered in your columns to Sir Michael 
O'Dwyer's contention that communal dissensions in India are due to the Montagu-Chelms- 
ford Heforms. The causes, as your Cenespondcnt points out, are anterior and wider and 
bis references to them support what has been written by himself and Indian correspondents 
in your columns. But the scheme of franchises which was adopted on the recommend- 
ation of Lord South borough's Commission in connexion with the new Constitution has 
certainly accentuated and extended the evil influences of the communal principle. That 
Commission itnelf deplored the necessity, which it deemed to be forced upon it, of creating 
new electoral communities in addition to the pre-existing distinction between Hindus 
and Moslems, ami hoped it would be transitory. Until the communal piinciple for elec- 
toral franchises is eliminated ordered progress in constitutional Government will be im- 

But there are other causes of the increasing faction fighting. No one with any close 
acquaintance ot Indian affairs will be prepared to deny that on the whole there is a pre- 
dominant bias in British officialism in India in favour of the Moslem community, partly 
on the ground of closer sympathy but more largely as a makr-weight against Hindu 
national m. Independently of this and its evil effects there has been vacillation in 
Police action and Police court practice sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other, 
encouraging each side to take liberties. This is almost universally attested by responsible 
Indians, who impute itI do not say justly to a deliberate desire on the part of authority 
to maintain communal trouble as a testimony against the possibility of constitutional 
progress. Whether this imputation be unjust or not they point, as your Indian corres- 
pondents have done, to the absence of such troubles in Native States, where the purpose 
of maintaining public order and an even balance is untainted by any such mischievous 

Contray to the opinion of many Indians I consider that the regulations recently 
promulgated in Bengal with regard to processions, etc., are on the right line, if for no 
other reason, because they appear to me to follow the principle on which native rulers 
proceed. Mutual consideration is enforced ; offensive demonstrations such as the killing 
of cows, are in some cases absolutely prohibited. Hindu processions with music, where 
there ig a Moslem population may reasonably be prohibited in certain places and at certain 
times, but the Moilemi have no right to expect that these religious rites shall be forbidden 


at all times and in all streets, because they have mosques in every street and pray at all 
times of the day. Correspondingly, it is outrageous that Moslems to whom the killing 
of a cow is at beet a mere purveying of butcher's meat, should be allowed, as they have 
been in some places, to make a public festival and demonstration of this exclusively secular 
feat by leading the poor beast through the streets wreathed with garlands, as in a religious 
procession, and as if they were about to make an idolatrous sacrifice wholly repugnant 
to their own religion. If Moslems must have beef it should, in Hindu cities, be purveyed 
through licensed abattovis. 

Sir M. O'Dwyer'i Reply. 

To this Sir Michael O'Dwyer replied : 

Sir, Lord Olivier in his letter in your issue of the 10th insfc. prides himself on having 
with the authority of your Calcutta Correspondent, demolished " Sir Michael O'Dwyci's 
contention that communal dissensions in India are due to the Montagu -Cheimeford Re- 
forms-" I trust I am not too grievously ignorant of Indian conditions as to advance 
such a contention. What I said in my letter kindly published by you on April 12 and 
repeated in my reply to Lord Olivier in your issue of April 20 was that the traditional 
sectarian hostility has since the Reforms been aggravated tenfold by the political struggles 
of the rival religions and races to possess themselves of the power and place which the 
British Government is, to their minds, vacating. 

Does Lord Olivier deny the accuracy of this statement ? It is a pity that in his 
efforts to explain away "the increasing faction fighting," he advances the unjust and 
unfounded statement that "there is a predominant bias in British officialism in India 
in favour of the Moslem community." If any refutation is icquired one is furnished in 
the dispatch of your Calcutta Correspondent in the very same issue, stating that the 
Mahomedan Deputy Mayor of Calcutta in the Legislative Council attacked the impartia- 
lity of the Police on the ground that they were preponderatingly Hindus This pre- 
ponderance was officially admitted. 

I am afraid that Moslem critics will detect an anti-Moslem bias in the late Secretary 
of State for India not only because of the above statement but also because of the extra- 
ordinary ignorance of Islam displayed in his confident assertion that the killing of kine 
at the great Mahomedan festivals is not an obligatory religious sacrifice but " at best a 
mere purveying of butchers' meat " and " an exclusively secular feat ! " One wonders 
from what sources Lord Olivier derives his information. But those sources are obviously 
anti-British and also anti- Moslem. 

Lord Olivier's Reply. 

Lord Olivier concluded the correspondence with the following letter : 
Sir, If by "since the Reforms " Sir M. OVDwyer did not mean " in consequence of 
the Beforms " but was merely employing a descriptive from of chronology, I apologizo 
for misinterpreting him. His statement that the traditional sectarian hostility in India 
has been " aggravated tenfold " by the political struggles of the rival religions and races 
to possess themselves of power and place attribute?, in ray opinion and that of others 
of yonr correspondents, enormously exaggerated influence to that factor. Factors more 
potent have been indicated. The fault " says your Simla Correspondent, " is not in 
the Beforms " and explained why he says so. 

I do not see that the accusation quoted by Sir M. O'Dwycr against Hindu Police 
of partiality for Hindus affects the question whether British officialism in India does or 
does not on the whole, feel more sympathy with Mahomedanism than with Hinduism 
and consider the Moslems a more " virile " community (to use Lord Birkenhead's word) 
and better qualified for dominion. The majority of the Englibhmen 1 have met in the 
course of my life who have served in India have forcibly expressed such predilections 
which are very intelligible in them, but do not prove their qualifications for governing 
the Hindus. 

Lord Olivier on "Official Bias 1 '. 

Subsequently in another long letter to the ''Times" on the 12th August 1926 
Lord Olivier explained more clearly the meaning of the " official bias " which he bad used 
in his letter of the 7th July last as given above. When he was challenged in the House 
of Lords on the 28th July by the Secretary of State and the late Viceroy, the Marqnis 


of Beading about the statement, all that he said to allay the suspicions of the officials was 
that he did not mean to impute any attitude of favouritism to the Government of India. 
But still he maintained his conviction of the existence of a kind of bias amongst the 
officials owing to the higher appreciation of the latter of the virtues of the Moslem section 
of the community. (For Lord Olivier's speech see page 131). 

In this letter Lord Olivier digs up the official record of Lord Miuto's time and on the 
basis of an interview between the Viceroy and a Moslem deputation writes : " The late 
Lord Minto was a most gallant and high-minded Englishman ; he was not eaten up with 
that supposed discretion which is deemed to consist in dissembling opinions known to be 
held and imagining that if you do so, you will be trusted to act as if you did not hold them. 
When Lord Minto was approached on behalf of the Moslem community with a request for 
separate representation (by election) in excess of the proportion of its numbers, he 
answered : " you justly claim that your position should be estimated not merely on yonr 
numerioial strength, but in the respect of the political importance of your community 
and the services it has rendered to the Empire. I am entirely with you. 1 * Lord Minto 
then expressed precisely that kind of predilection in favour of the Moslem community 
which is in my opinion prevalent amongst officials m India. 11 ' 

Continuing, Lord Olivier maintained that there has been no official repndation of 
this policy which IB by implication assumed to have been the governing dictum of Lord 
Morley's policy. For he says ; " But so far as I am aware, the government has not publicly 
expressed the view that such preferential discrimination, however unobjectionable it might 
be, under the merely representative institutions of the Morley- Minto Reforms, is quite 
incompatible with the idea of the Montagu-Chelmsford Councils and Ministries. Any 
expressions of such opinions may well have been deemed uncalled for, the constitution 
at present not being under revision ; but would it be unnatural or unjustifiable for Hindu 
politicians to view with suspicion such un re pressed assumptions of claims to privilege ?" 

Lord Olivier then imagines what Moslems and Englishmen would have said if any 
Governor-General,* impressed with the achievements of Aryan civilization in India had 
replied to a Hindu memorial in the terms employed by Lord Minto when responding 
to his Moslem deputation. He declares that it is much more dangerous to British 
credit in India that perfectly familiar truisms, like those to which he has given expression, 
should be greeted with bombastic abuse in British journals than that political convictions 
should be frankly expressed, as Lord Minto expressed his. 

Continuing, Lorn Olivier holds that even the late Mr. C. K. Das was ill-advised when, 
on grounds of political expediency, he gave way to the demands of the Moslem Swarajists 
in order to secure the Bengal Pact. The price paid for that abortive agreement, as Lord 
Olivier says, could never be sustained in equity ; and it was for this reason, among others, 
that the Pact came to an untimely end. Such one-sided arrangements can never be 
squared with the principles of tbe reformed Constitution, and it is unthinkable that they 
should find any place in the future proposals of the Government. 

In so far as the Reformed Constitution has proved unworkable and has had the effect 
of exacerbating factious rivalry, Lord Olivier attributes this result to the working of the 
communal electoral franchise ! but he wants to reduce that kind of representation to a 
minimum. The supporters of the Moslem claims lik^ Sir Theodore Morrison are in favour 
of extending it further. These people talk as if the Moslems were the only minority in 
India. The Hindus themselves are in a minority in some areas. And obviously, as 
Lord Olivier points out, the rights of the lesser communities (Sikhs, Christians, Labour 
ete..) cannot possibly be protected by the Moslem prescription of over-representation all 
round. " If anything can be confidently foretold," he adds, " about the 1920 Constitution 
it is that it will recommend the supersession of the separate communal electorates by some 
other form of safeguard for minority rights. 11 

As to the suggestion that the only remedy for the supposed irreconcilable differences 
of Indians is the permanent imposition of British rule, Lord Olivier obseives that "from 
Lord Minto^ time onwards every responsible British administrator or Minister who 
has had to control Indian affairs has recognized that that prescription is entirely 
impracticable and futile and has endeavoured, as we are most of us now doing, to con- 
tribute what he could towards assisting the evolution of fairly representative national 
Government. It is worse than useless to say this cannot be done. It only strengthens 
intransigient Indian Nationalists in their belief that Englishmen do not wish that it 
should be done. 11 


The Allahabad Ramlila Procession. 

A crowded meeting of Hindus was held on the 5th October 1926 at 
Allahabad to protest against the restrictions put by the District authorities 
on the Ramlila procession. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, in the course of 
his speech, characterised the Magistrate's order to stop music before mosques 
at prayer time as not justified in law and he said that by passing such an 
order, the authorities have lowered the British prestige. The Pandit asked 
the Hindus to refrain from Satyagraha, advised them to bear everything 
patiently and exhorted them to keep peace and order and to adhere to 
constitutional means. Resolutions were passed expressing resentment at the 
Magistrate's order and begging H. E. the Governor? and H. E. the Viceroy 
to intervene. The following telegram was sent by Pt. Malaviya to the 
Governor : 

Pt. Malaviy's Telegram. 

" The Hindu residents of Allahabad, assembled at a public meeting, record 
the strong protest against the attitude of the district authorities in refusing 
licences even this year for the Ramlila procession in conformity with the 
long established local custom. The meeting invites the attention of II. E. 
GovernoHn-Council to the deep and universal pain which the said attitude 
has caused to the Hindus. The meeting submits that protection of the just 
rights of Hindu citizens and preservation of the prestige of the British Gov- 
ernment demand that licences for Ramlila processions be issued as used to 
be issued till last year without any restrictions as to time and music. It 
requests that His Excellency be pleased to direct the district authorities to 
issue licences for Ramlila as were issued till last year without the conditions 
mentioned above and further to direct the authorities to give the necessary 
protection to the Hindus in the exercise of legitimate rights and to take 
steps to preserve peace by such action as may be necessary to prevent any 
unwarranted attack on such rights. The meeting draws the attention of 
H. E. the Governor-irrCouncil to the address of H. E. the Viceroy to the 
legislatures in which His Excellency said : c It cannot be too clearly 
emphasised that the GoTernment have no intention whatever to allow any 
unjust or unreasonable claims, still loss any violence or threat of violence, 
to deter them from their clear duty of maintaining public peace and, so 
far as it is compatible with the rights of others, rights of individual citizens 
to pursue unhampered their lawful avocations.' The meeting requests the 
Government of the United Provinces to give effect to His Excellency tl^e 
Viceroy's views and not allow apprehension of possible disturbance of peace 
on the part of some rowdy members of a community to deter the district 
authorities from protecting the Hindus in exercising their rights in 
conformity with established local custom. The meeting also appeals to 
His Excellency the Viceroy to be pleased to advice the local Government 
to carry out the policy which His Excellency laid down in this connection 
as the honoured bead of the Government of India. The meeting hopes and 
trusts that both H. E. the GovernoHirCouncil arid His Excellency the 
Viceroy will uphold the prestige of the British Government as permitting law- 
abiding citizens to exercise their Idgal and customary rights without being 
deterred by the apprehensions of violence on the part of rowdy elements in 
a section of the community." 


Th U. P. Government's Reply. 

The reply of the United Provinces Government is as follows : 
" I am directed to reply to your telegram of the 6th insfc. in which you 
communicate the resolutions passed by a meeting of the Hindus at Allahabad 
and request that the district authorities should be instructed to issue a licence 
allowing the Bamlila procession without any restrictions or conditions. 

" The conditions imposed by the district authorities are designed to 
secure that music shall not be played in front of mosques at prayer time. 
The Hindus claim that no such restriction should be imposed and it has been 
sought to justisy this claim on two grounds viz., (a) custom and (b) that the 
Hindus have a legal right and that they should be protected in the exercise 
of it. 

" As regards the first point, general orders were issued in 1911 directing 
that a record should be prepared of the customs observed in connection with 
religi us festivals throughout the province. The record prepared in 1912 
stated that there was no custom of stopping music before mosques in 
Allahabad, but that processions were so managed as not to be in front of 
mosques at the time of prayer. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy 
of this record. And in 1915 the Commissioner of Allahabad reported that 
so far as could be ascertained, the processions in the past had been over by 
nightfall when the image of Bawan was burnt on the banks of the river 
about a mile beyond the last mosque on the route. Past practice, therefore, 
does not support the claim made in your telegram. 

" The second contention rests on a misconception. It is for the civil 
courts to pronounce regarding legal rights and neither the Government nor 
the Magistrates have ever attempted to do so. All such rights, however, are 
subject, as has been repeatedly held by the courts themselves to such orders 
as may be necessary for Magistrates and police officers to pass for the pro* 
vention of disturbance The district authorities at Allahabad were convinced 
in view of the recent disturbances arid the temper of the people that if no 
restrictions were enforced, serious rioting was not only probable but practical- 
ly certain to occur. No police precautions that are practicable could suffice to 
ensure that rioting would not occur, since it is impossible to line every street 
and lane throughout the city with the police. There in no reason what- 
ever to doubt the accuracy of this view. The Government have always re- 
cognised that an unreasonable demand which would have the effect of seriously 
impairing any religious festival, rite of ceremony should be resisted even at 
the risk of a riot and the Magistrate has been instructed accordingly. But 
the alternative restrictions that have been imposed at Allahabad shall have 
no such effect. It is not in any way essential to the performance of the 
Bamlila that music should be played in front of musquea at the time of 
evening prayer. This is shown both by the record of past practice at 
Allahabad above referred to and by the practice in other years at other 

" The Government regret that the Hindus of Allahabad are unwilling 
to accept either of the conditions imposed by the district authorities. But 
they consider that these conditions are justified and necessary in the interest 
of public peace and they are, therefore, unable to accede to the request 
conveyed in your telegram." 



Pt Malftviya'i Reply to Government. 

In reply Pt. Malaviya sent a second telegram saying that the re- 
presentatives of the Ramlila Committee were unanimously of opinion that 
they could not oonsistenly with their duty to their community and to 
the residents of Allahabad in general accept either of the conditions laid 
down by the district authorities. In giving their reasons, the Pandit 
says that such restrictions constitute an unjustifiable encroachment on the 
rights of Hindu citizens to take out religious and other processions through 
public streets in a peaceable manner as they used to do from time immemorial 
and that it is common ground. There is no custom of stopping music before 
moiques in Allahabad. The fundamental right which has been openly 
exercised year after year with great pomp and pageant at least ever since 
the British rule was established in Allahabad is a matter of deep concern 
to more than a hundred thousand residents of Allahabad and to millions 
outside. It should not be adversely affected by an order of the kind in 
question made without any enquiry from or intimation to the Hindus. 
While agreeing it is for civil courts to pronounce judgment regarding legal 
rights, the complaint of the Hindus is by refusing licences for a second time 
this year, the Magistrate has virtually pronounced a decision regarding the 
legal rights of the parties. 

In connection with the statement that serious rioting was sure to take 
place, the Pandit submits if the district authorities act firmly and take the 
necessary precautions, it is practically certain no serious rioting will occur. 
The Pandit is willing to offer a thousand volunteers of respectable -character 
to work with the Police. 

Lastly, the Pandit begs to state that one of the strongest reasons which has 
weighed with the members of the Ramlila Committee in not accepting either 
of the conditions in question is that they are convinced that far from obviating 
the trouble between the two communities, their acceptance of such conditions 
will become a fruitful source of fresh quarrels in the future. If the senti- 
ment is fostered that it is disrespectful to a mosque to pass by it with music 
it is certain to give rise to frequent riots and to lead to much undeserved 
suffering. It is not in the interest of good government arid humanity to 
encourage this sentiment. The Pandit asks the Government to give the 
whole question its most serious consideration. After what has happened, 
not to permit the Ramlila procession to be taken out here even this year will 
be to allow resort to unlawful violence to gain its object to flout the Govern- 
ment and to inflict undeserved pain upon hundred thousand law-abiding 
subjects of His Majesty in Allahabad and of millions outside it. If the 
Government will allow licences to issue even up to the 1 2th instant the 
Committee will yet manage to go through the Ramlila celebrations by crowding 
them into four days and millions of Hindus will be grateful for being saved 
the pain and mortification to which they are unjustly subjected at present, 

The U. P. Govt'ft Final Reply. 

In reply the U. P. Government cnncluded the controversy by sending 
the following telegram : 

" The Government have given your letter their most careful considera- 
tion. They regret that it should have been necessary to impose any res- 
trictions. They had hoped Hindus would voluntarily adopt the arrangement 


in conformity with past practice which would have obviated all controversy, 
but they adhere to the view that since Hindus were unwilling to do so, 
restrictions imposed were justified. Accordingly, they are unable to alter tho 
decision already conveyed to you." 


As the above conditions imposed by the authorities were not acceptable 
to the Hindus, they abandoned the Kamlila celebrations, in consequence of 
which no procession was taken out on the 16th October when otherwise a 
big procession would ordinarily have been taken out. There was hartal in 
the city on this day, but not as complete as the organisers wished. Several 
shops remained open in the main thoroughfares but little business was done, 
many people being nervous to venture out Extra armed pickets were 
posted all over the city and police were on tho alert 

Reports from Calcutta, Delhi, Patna and other places indicated that 
the Dasara and Ramlila celebrations were performed at those places without 
any trouble. 

Murder of S w a m i S h r a d d a n a n d . 

The news that Swami Shraddananda Sanyasi has fallen a victim to a 
dastardly assassin was received with horror and indignation throughout tho 
country. This melancholy event took place at Delhi on the 23rd December 
1926 at 4 P.M. in the afternoon. The circumstances in which the crime was 
committed are exceptionally revolting. The Swamiji was just on his way to 
recovery after a very serious attack of pneumonia from which he had been 
suffering for the past some months. Only three days had elapsed since the 
doctors declared him convalescent- He was still bed-ridden at the time of the 
outrage. It was in this state of his health that the cowardly Muslim, under 
the guise of seeking spiritual enlightenment from the Swamiji, secured 
admittance into his room, got the Swamiji's servant out of the way by 
requesting him to fetch a tumble of water and perpetrated the foul deed. 
Of the magnitude of the heinousness of the crime an unprovoked attack 
on a helpless, aged and revered personage in a delicate state of health it is 
impossible to speak in the language of extravagance. It was black and mean 
as any act could be and no citizen of India can think of it without feelings 
of the deepest horror, indignation and sorrow. For the community in 
particular for whose uplift in a special sense the late Swamiji devoted the 
best part of his life, his loss must be deemed incalculable, The Arya 
Samajists will, it need hardly be said, feel inconsolable. 

It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that because of the accident 
that his lot was cast among the Arya Samajists or the Hindus of Northern 
India the Swamiji had no wider interests, that he was a narrow com- 
munalist or that his services to the country at large were negligible. 
His " confession of faith " will, we daresay, dispel the notion that 
he was a Hindu partisan and not an Indian patriot. Shraddanand held 
that every Indian should make the welfare of the Motherland the 


centre towards which all his activities should gravitate. His own activity 
was for a quarter of a century directed towards training select Hindu 
youths of the country for the service of the Motherland ; for in a real 
sense he was, as Principal M AH AT MA MUNSHIRAM, the maker of the 
Gurukul, Hard war, that unique institution to which the credit of providing 
efficient missionaries for Arya Samaj work is in a large measure due. 
Much of that work is connected with the uplift of the enslaved classes who 
constitute a fifth of the entire nation, and it was in connection with this work 
of exorcising this evil of Hindu India, which at the same time meant 
strengthening it, that he fell into disfavour with certain section of the 
Muslim community. It is a pity that activities directed towards the noble 
end of liberating the oppressed classes should have led to misunderstandings 
between certain sections of the communities. Swami Shraddananda, the virile 
Punjabi that he was, never shrank from his work and never allowed himself 
to be cowed down by hostile critics. The remarkable success which attended 
his campaign only made him more and more unpopular with that section of 
the Muslims who viewed his campaign with suspicion. 

Some of the Swamij's followers might indeed seek to connect the crime 
with the activities of certain Muslims on behalf, as may be alleged by them, 
of the Muslim community. But to do so would be a serious mistake. There is 
not a tittle of evidence to show that the crime was anything more than the 
mad act of a Muslim fanatic; and, while it will be agreed that leaders/ 
particularly Muslims, have a heavy responsibility in the matter of educating 
their brethren and thus saving them from falling a prey to ignorance and 
fanaticism leading to crime, no far-seeing patriot can draw inferences " incrim- 
inating the hole Muslim community " because of the dastardly act of a mad 
Muslim. We know the country knows it is a heavy blow to the Hindus 
of Northern India; every responsible Indian, no matter what his caste or creed 
is, will sympathise with them, especially because wisdom demands of them 
that, far from giving way to foolish panic and unreasoning anger, they should 
bear this calamity with manliness, courage and firm faith in the good sense of 
their countrymen, We are glad to note that leaders, both Hindu and Muslim, 
have viewed the incident in the proper perspective. The lot of these two 
communities is cast by inescapable destiny in a common motherland ; and 
commonsense must dictate to them that one community cannot suppress the 
legitimate rights of the other by resort to murder and terrorism. No leader 
worthy of his salt can ignore this fact ; and the country demands of each one 
of them to recognise his heavy responsibility, wean his followers from the 
path of violence in deed as well as in word and thought, which is the path 
of certain destruction, and lead them on to the path of justice, patriotism 
peace and their natural concomitant, prosperity. The shadow of an irrepar- 
able loss hangs heavy over us ; let us not add to the poignancy of the calamity 
by thoughtless words or deeds born of panic or imaginary fears. (From 
the Hindu, Madras.) 

The Patuakhali Satyagraha. 

The following are extracts from the very informing report submitted 
by Sj. Piyush Kanti Ghose to the Hindu Relief Committee and published 
in the Amrita Bazar Patrika of Calcutta : 

The Satyagraha at Patuakhali, like many other awkward spectacles as seen in our 
country is, in reality, the offshoot of a very simple incident an incident which might 
have been easily avoided. 

The stoiy of the Satyagraha can be told in a few words. Since sometime past the 
feeling between the Hindus and the Mahomedans were getting more and more strained 
at Patuakhali, Previously the local Mahomedana never slaughtered any cow within 
public view. This year, however, this time-honoured custom was done away with and 
during the last Bakr-id they slaughtered as many as four cows in four different places 
of the town all open to public view and near public thoroughfares. This profoundly 
wounded the feelings of the Hindus. The matter was further aggravated as a few 
Government officers (all Mahomedans) were found to countenance the action. The Hindus 
by way of retaliation, started a Sankirtan party that very day and led it through a 
public road near a mosque which they did not do for about 5 or 7 years out of good 
feeling towards the Mahomcdans. This created further trouble which went on from bad 
to worse till on the occasion of the last " Janam Ashtami " the Hindus wanted again 
to lead a Sankirtan party through the same road. As the Assistant Superintendent of 
Police had, in the meantime, issued a number of personal and general notices asking the 
Hindus to apply for license if they wanted to start any procession, an application was 
made for the purpose. The A. S. P. imposed certain restrictions in the license asking the 
processionists to stop music in certain parts of the main road which lay near the mosque 
referred to above. The Hindus claimed their right to have unrestricted use of the public 
road for religious procession and Satyagraha was started. 

According to the wishes of the A. 8. P. a license is obtained daily since the last 
11 Janam Ashtami " day to start a religious procession singing Sankiitan accompanied 
with drums and symbols and flags flying, The restrictions with slight alterations 
are imposed in the license. The restricted area is daily guarded by a posse mostly of 
armed constables about 76 in number, and at times going up to 100. Some of the cons- 
tables line the prohibited portion of the road on both its sides and a large number wait 
at the other end of this area in a group accompanied by the S.D.O., A.S.P. and a few other 
Police officers. According to the time stated in the license the processioni sts start from 
the local Kalibari at about 5 in the afternoon or some times earlier singing Kirtana 
accompanied by music. On reaching one end of the restricted area the processionists 
who are followed by a large concourse of people stop but continue their music and 
sing with great gusto for about half an hour or more. As the place is not far from 
the new mosque which is now being principally used as a place of prayer our Mahomedan 
brethren stand in a line on its verandah which is just in front of the spot and resale their 
ears with the celestial music of the Hindus. After the processionists have danced and 
eang to their heart's content till they are tired and have treated our Mahomedan 
brethren with their sweet music which is as ationgly audible from the mosque as from 
other parts of the road, four of them with a yellow band on which " Satyagrahi " is 
inscribed rush forward singing the same song till on their arrival at the other point 
they are arrested by the Police and led to the Thana. After being detained there for 
a few hours they are released on proper surety. The main body of the processionists 
then tern round and move about in different parts of the city singing kirtans till dusk. 
This is now being daily enacted at Patuakhali. 

Up till now i. e. 15th September 1926, 85 arrests have been made and a special 
Magistrate has been deputed from Barisal to try them. They are to be tried under 
sections 30 and 82 of the Police Aot and the trial of a few of them has already begun. 

This Satyagraha movement has created a good deal of local sensation. The leaders 
of the District are anxious to bring a termination to the unhappy state of things as 
early as possible but a considerable section of the younger people are determined to 
carry it on to a successful end. 


One thing to be noted in connection with the Satyagrahis is that they are perfectly 
peaceful and non-violent in character. They honestly believe that they are not defying the 
Government but are righting tor a principle which they believe will be ultimately settled 
in their favour. 

Having heard of disquieting news from Patuakhali from private sources I immediate- 
ly started for the place and arrived at Barisal on the llth September. A meeting was 
arranged the same afternoon and the whole question was discussed at length with the 
leaders of the district town. The general consensus of opinion was to stop Satyagraha 
if that were possible and to institute a Civil suit for the declaration of the right of the 
Hindus to lead religious processions over the mam thoroughfare of Patuakhali near which, 
unfortunately, two mosques stood. It was arranged that five prominent leaders of 
Ban sal would proceed to Patuakhali the same evening and I was requested to assist them 
in arriving at a right conclusion in the matter after local enquiry. 

Early next morning we inspected both the new and the old mosques which are only 
a few ysrds distant from each other, the locality and the area restricted for the passing 
of procession with music. On our return we held a conference with the Hindus who 
were conducting Satyagraha here or were generally in favour of the movement. They 
numbered about 600 and belonged to all professions and castes of the Hindus. We then 
ascertained the views of thote who were against the movement and who were about half 
a dozen in number at. different sitting. 1 am glad to say that about a dozen Mahomedan 
gentlemen of the town, all leading men, also gave us the benefit of their view of the 
troublesome question on invitation. We also saw the local officials including the Sub- 
Divisional Officer and the Assistant Superintendent of I'olica. In our round through the 
streets we had a chance of meeting stray people belonging to different ranks in society 
and ascertaining their views. 

The Hindu View. 

The Hindus maintained that perfect good feeling existed between the two communities 
before but since the past few years the Mahomedans were found to put them into dis- 
advantage in every matter by a series of events that occurred. In every case they had 
to lose ground and if this was allowed to go on unchecked their very existence would be 
impossible. They made a free gift of land for the erection of the Mosque and the 
boarding house of the Mahomedans and what do they find to-day ? They are not to be 
permitted to lead their religious processions by the side of a piece of land which they 
made over to the Mahomedans out of charity. The word " custom " on which the Maho- 
medans take their eland now originated out of their eagerness to maintain cordial relations 
with them and abstaining from their playing of music on certain occasions near the 
mosque for the last 6 or 7 years only. If they had shown charity and good feeling to- 
waids the Ma homed ana at one time out ot their weakness ami as a result had lost much 
Of their rights they were not willing to follow this mibtaken policy any further. 

The Hindus, thereupon, gave some specific instances wheie their rights were curbed 
at the unreasonable attitude of the Mahomedans. Some of these may be mentioned here 
in brief. The local Hindu students had been pel forming their Swaraswati Puja freely 
for many yeais in the two schools of the town, but year befoie last objection was taken 
to this by the Mahomedans and the places of the performance of the Puja had to be 
shifted. During the last Duiga Puja celebiation m the Jubilee School a theatrical per- 
formance was arranged and leailets were naturally printed with the word. " Puja 
Performance ' on the headline. Objection was taken by a Maliomedan student 
with the word thus punted and in the disturbance that atose the performance had to be 
given up at the ele\enth hour. Slaughter of cows in public view near public thorough- 
fares which was never dc ne before and two Mahometan officers taking an active part 
in the matter further exasperated the Hindus. There were also objections to Sankirtans 
being held in Hindu houses near one of the mosques. 

The small party of the Hindus who are opposed to Satyagraha gave the following 
reasons in support of their views : (a) The place is pre-eminently unfit for such an 
action as more than 90 per cent of the inhabitants of the Sub-Divisions are illiterate 
Mahomedans who could be easily led by designing persons to do mischief, (b) The 
movement was unnecessarily endangering the lives and properties of the Hindu inhabi- 
tants, (c) Methods like this have not the sanction of the Hindu-Mahasabha and the 
Congress. Had it been so sanctioned the Hindu population might have some guarantee 
for suitable compensation for lose of life and property, (d) It is not sanctioned by the 
thinking and considerate people of the town, (e) Such a course has not been adopted 
anywhere in India. The gentlemen belonging to this party are of opinion that compro- 
piie with the Mahomedans ii the only courw open to the Hindui even at a wcrifioc, 


It may be noted here that the eon of a member of this party offered Satyagraha and hit 
case la pending. 

The Mahomenan View. 

There are not two parties among the Mahometans and they are all strictly of the same 
opinion. They frankly confessed that religion was not the real point at issue. They 
complained that they had no voicu in the public bodies of the place, such as the Muni- 
cipality, the Schools, the Local Board, the Hospital, the Dispensary and the Bank where 
the Hindus predominated and as a result the Mahometan interests suffered. On questions 
being put they admitted afterwards that this could not be said of all public bodies. In 
regard to the present difficulty they pointed out that it was the custom here to stop all 
musical processions before both the mosque a since their foundation and they expected the 
Hindus as their eldor brethren not to interfere with the arrangement. They further 
pointed out that the present quarrel was not between the Hindus and themselves but 
between the authorities and the former. So if, at this stage, they accepted any terms 
proposed by the Hindus they would be accused by their own people for having given away 
some of the rights. But if the Government enforced any conditions on them they would 
wilhngly acct-pt them as in that case no body could be blamed If the Hindus could 
establish their rights through Civil Court they would not have any objection. 

Official View. 

The officials both at Barisal and at Patuakhali express in some respect the same version 
of the matter as the Mahomedans and those who are against the Satyagraha. The official! 
hold that it is a fact that during the last " Id " a cow was killed in an open place, but that 
could not be sufficient justification on the part of the Hindus for such retaliatory measures 
in breaking a custom which prevailed for the last 20 years. The movement was being 
led by Satmdra Hath Sen with a small following. There was nothing sensational in the 
whole matter and things were being peacefully managed by the authorities. It was only 
to protect the Hindus that a large police force had been requisitioned. If this would not 
have been done the consequences would have been serious, as the Mahomedan element of 
the worst type predominated in the Bub-Division, the number of Mahomedans being about 
95 per cent of the total population. They accused the Hindus as the aggressors and 
pointed out that they might be made liable for meeting the cost of Punitive Police if it is 
found necessary to station it at Patuakhali, 

There are two mosques at Patuakhali with which the present trouble is connected. 
The new mosque which was built in 19U and is more spacious and better in every respect 
than the old one in situated on a bye-lane and is at some distance from the main road. 
The Hindus, therefore, do not at all take into account any assertion that musical pro- 
cessions on the main road could be stopped on the scare of this mosque as they have 
no business to go into the bye-lane on which it stands. The old mosque which was built 
in 1887 is a tin shed and is also situated on another lane which is a blind one. On 
account of its closer position to the main road there might be some reasonable objection 
to music being played on it during the time of prayer. But since the erection of the 
new mosque at a more convenient place and having a broad verandah in front and other 
conveniences and being only a few yards from the old one the latter got into disuse and 
was no longer resorted to as a public place of worship. The HinduB, therefore, maintain 
that there should be no restrictions to music on the main road on the score of this 
mosque too. 

The Leader of the Satyagiaha. 

The reader might be inquisitive to know as to who started Satyagraha at Patuakbali. 
This has now been the only topic among both the Hindus and the Mahomedans through- 
out a district where communications between its different parts are rather difficult. What- 
ever might be spoken of him in police enquiry reports and in those of officials, such as, 
an insignificant fellow with a small following, etc., the originator of the movement, 
BO far as I could ascertain aLer my enquiries, is really a man of parts, who carries 
immense influenco in the district. It is even said of him that youngrarn, who are his 
direct followers and who could be counted by hundreds, would gladly give away their 
lives at his merest wish. Though a youngman of abont 30, he has grown in experience 
and intelligence beyond his age after having gone through the test of bureaucratic wrath 
more than once. Simple, straight-forward, strictly righteous and at the same time, 
braming with intelligence, many no doubt find it hard to lead him astray and, therefore, he 
has some enemies too who are naturally jealous of his leadership. But this so often stands in 
good etead in making him follow a path that is honourable, dignified and above all moral, 


The name of the youngman is Sri man Satindra Natb Sen, and he Is the Secretary of 
the District Congress Committee. He, in brief, is a Swadeshi worker from the time of the 
old Swadeshi days. He was interned for a long period. Coming back from his internment 
he took up non-violent non-co-operation work in right earnest and was sent to jail for 
two years. In jail he started hunger-strike and continued it for about 40 days. His 
present occupation is, therefore, only in conformity with his past career. 

The Satyagrahis. 

Trained nnder the leadership of a man who has gone into the very core of non-violence 
the Satyagrahis are absolutely non-violent and perfectly peaceful in character. Indeed 
so far only youngmen, mostly students, who have some amount of education and ordinary 
intelligence, are carefully selected for Satyagraha. They are also given a special train, 
ing for the purpose. They are taught music mostly of a devotional character. They are 
made to recite such ennobling Vaishnava couplets as, " Nitai Gtour Radhey Shyam Harey 
Krishna Harey Ram, " etc., and they are enjoined to show Vaishnava spirit and humility 
in everything they act. ' Harinam ' is sung for about an hour to the accompaniment of 
Khol and Kartal and most of them are transported to an ecstatic condition. When 
brought to this frame of mind, indeed when they become incapable of hurting even a 
fly, four of them, specially selected for the purpose, are allowed to transgress the for- 
bidden border and are immediately arrested, and while still singing the songs they are 
led to the police station where the particulars of the arrebted persons are recorded. 

A Pew Other Peculiarities. 

Indeed there are also other peculiarities in the nature of the Satyagraha that the 
people of Patuakhali are offering and which should not be lost sight of. They do not 
admit that they are offering passive resistance because they do not defy or resist any 
law of the land. They honestly believe that there is no law which forbids music before 
a mosque. Only a restriction is put in the police license whereby music in processions is 
forbidden in some portion of a publie thoroughfare. Even this restriction, they hold, 
is not in accordance with any provisions of the Police Act. They consider it as a mis- 
application of section 80 of the Police Act. They regularly apply for a license according 
to the order of the local authorities. They also obey the authorities if they wish that the 
time for the procession should be changed. They don't apply the least force to push their 
way into the restricted ground. Indeed, if the Police obstruct their passage, they are 
found to stop at the place and continue their music. When arrested thdy never show 
any force but carry out with all humility all that they are aeked to do. Their only object 
seems to be to defend their rights and no more. 

Then, again, they avoid the section 144 of Or. P. C. and do not form an unlawful 
assembly by increasing their number beyond four. Thoy not only form the processions 
absolutely unarmed but not at all in an offensive spirit to rouse their co-religionists to 
any acts of violence or commit any breach of the peace. Indeed by their behaviour they 
ghow to the Hindus that the best possible way for them would be to maintain peace and 
order at any c 'St. If any breach of the peace is possible, it may come from the side of 
our Mahoraedan brethren. And this view is supported by the officials too. 

The Satyagrahis do not cause any provocation not only to the authorities but 
to our Mahomed an brethren also. This may by proved by the following instance 
in point. 

A municipal road meets the main road on the river-side in the north-western corner 
of the Civil Court compound. As I have already said, the real public mosque of the 
town is situated on this municipal road on the bye-lane, as I have mentioned. The 
mosque stands more than 200 cubits off from the main road which is the route of the 
Hindu processions. The police license allows processions along this municipal road and 
forbids them only in the portion directly facing the mosque. Now the Satyagrahis never 
go with music along this municipal road. If it had been the aim of the Hindus to 
retaliate and irritate the Mahomedans or harass the authorities, they could easily divert 
their processions to this road and attempt to pass by the public mosque thereon. In the 
beginning of the Satyagraha movement, the authorities apprehending a possible attempt 
of this nature on the part of the Hindus, had a large force of constables posted on the 
said road both at its northern and southern approaches to the mosque there, but as the 
Hindus did not lead any music on the road the practice was abandoned. 


and Abroad 

July-December 1926 

The India Office Estimates 


At the House of Commons on the 20th July 1926 EARL WINTERTON, 
the Under- Secretary of State for India, in presenting the India Office 
Estimates to the Supply Committee* made a long speech on the political 
situation in India and the position of the different parties in the country. 

The Noble Lord said his task to-day was happily to present a satisfactory picture 
for the past four yean, but it was more dangerous to make predictions about India than 
any other country and it might well be that a number of untoward incidents might 
occur material )y to reduc? the hopefulness to anxiety. Communal dissensions among 
sections of the population, which were of a very acute development might easily affect 
the slow an-1 steady growth of prosperity and sense of security. He emphasised 
that no Government, however powerful, could prevent the evil effects of sustained and 
bitter strife among different sections ot the population from injuring the well-being of 
the whole population. The Government of India was doing its best to prevent the 
struggle from becoming one of illegal violence, but it could not prevent the sources of 
bitterness and distrust from polluting , in degress varying with their intensify, every 
department of human endeavour with which they came into contact. 

Earl Winterton described the political history of India during the past 9 months 
as a progressive disintegration of the Swarajist party. He remarked that the personal 
relations between the Government representatives and non-official members, not even 
excluding the Swarajists, had been increasingly cordial during the last two years 
despite the apparent cleavage in their views and despite Indian newspapers' abuse of Lord 
Beading's actions. The Marquess and Marchioness of Reading were the subject of really 
remarkable tribute by the < Council of State although the composition of the Council 
appeared to b" much less representative of the light wing or of the Pro-Government view 
than its predecessor. 

Refering to the elections in autumn Earl Winterton said the present indications 
pointed to an appeal to the electors oa frankly communal lines for the advancement of 
the interests of the followers oi the creed rather than those of the country generally. 
It was permissible to hope for the emergence of a strong united party prepared, without 
surrendering any ultimate constitutional ideal, to co-operate with the Government in 
carrying on the administration. But, said Earl Winterton, the administration would be 
carried on whatever happened. How then, asked Earl Winteiton, was India or anyone 
bettered if some of the best brains in the country declined to contribute to the national 
welfare? Obviously that question was for India herself to answer. All we could do was 
to hope that the answer would be clear and definite. 

East Winterton reviewing the conditions in India during the past year remarked 
that there had been no important development of the Bolshevist activities but communal 
tension had steadily increased during the past four years and now constituted the gravest 
menace confronting the Government. He emphasised that a formidable number of actual 
conflicts between the members of the two great communities during the past four years 
was only a fraction of the toul number of the cas^s of communal friction which might 
have developed into actual hostilities but for the increasing precautions of the Magistrates 
and the Police Officers. He referred to the indulgence in open recrimination by the 
leaders of the two communities as a new and dangerous feature of the situation and 
said that it was idle to look for reconciliation between the rank and file when the leaders 
were openly at variance. 

EftVct of the Montford Act. 

Referring to the effect of the Montford Act in increasing the communal ten- 
sion, Earl Winterton said that that, in itself, was no condemnation of the Act unless one 
took extreme view that the progressive devolution of the functions from the British to the 
Indians was a wrong policy and as far as he was aware not even the moat rigid oppo- 


1*4 INDIA OFFICE ESTIMATES [*. o* coil . 

nents of the Act took that standpoint. The Accentuation of Hindu-Moslem cleavage could 
not have been avoided by any system of extension of Self -Government. It was for 
the Indiana themselves to show how far they could overcome in the future this great 
obstacle in their progress and unification the greatest obstacle existing to-day. 

Earl Winterton declared that an Impartial third party, the British troops in India, was 
the most effective safeguard against the communal tension developing into a wholesale 
massacre. The monstrous accusation of the extremist organs in India that the British 
members of the Government and the British officials instigated or refrained from taking 
effective steps to prevent communal riots and violence was devoid of all foundation. 

Refering to the " Very remarkable and very eloquent " speech of Lord Irwin, Earl 
Winterton hoped that his wise and weighty words would bo acted upon by the leaders 
and their followers throughout India. 

Trade and Finance. 

Turning to the " Brighter side of the picture*' namely, trade and finance, Earl 
Winterton denounced the extremist cry of exploitation ot India by Britain as absurd. 
He remarked that, undoubtedly, if Britain could reduce costs of production! she would 
find in India a ready market for far greater volume of manufactures than he was 
prepared to take at the present level of prices. He said that the presentation of a balan- 
ced budget for the fourth year in succession, with further relief in the matter of taxation 
and remissions in favour of the provinces, was generally recognised as an indication of a 
sound financial position built up by the Government of India during the last few years. 
Sir Basil Black tt had every reason to be happy when he compared today's financial 
position with that of a few years ago. 

The success of the rupee loan showed the high esteem in which the Government of 
India's credit stood while the fact that the yield of the representative Indian Government 
wcnrities in London was about five per cent, showed that India's credit ID London was 
fully as high as that of the Dominions and indeed second only to that of His Majesy'i 

Earl Winterton hoped that the Currency Commission's report would be in the hands 
of the members before recess. Meanwhile he declined to anticipate its contents. He 
hoped that wireless telegraphic communications between India and England would be 
established within a few months. 

Referring to the Government of India's decision to extinguish the exports of opium 
except for medical and scientific purposes by annual reductions, Earl Winterton empha- 
sised that the decision which had been taken with the hearty concurrence of the Secretary 
of State must not be regarded as a sudden death-bed repentance. On the contrary it 
was the culminating point of a series of measures taken in the past to regulate and 
restrict the export of opium from India. Emphasising the differences in the styles of 
living of Indian and Western workers, Earl Winterton said that no effort should be spared 
to better the conditions of Indian cities where overcrowding and disease followed in the 
wake of the industrialism. He paid a tribute to the many excellent housing schemes 
developed by enlightened industrialists in India. He hoped there would be no respite in 
their good work, while the Indian worker must be educated to take advantage of the 
better conditions. 

Earl Winterton, referring to the military matters, pointed out that the Army expen- 
diture had been reduced without the loss of efficiency. A good deal more must, be done 
before the Army in India could be said to be properly housed. 

Referring to the Frontier he said that he saw no reason why, if we continued to carry 
out the present policy, Waziristau should not become as peaceful as Baluchistan. 

I. C. 8. 

As regards the Lee Commission recommendations in respect of Civil Service 
he was pleased to ^uy that a decision had been reached in the case of almost 
all the officers appointed by the Secretary of State. Most of the recommendations 
from the Government of In'iia and the local Governments in respect of them had been 
received and were being considered and the rest were expected shortly and all possible 
steps were being taken to expedite the decision. The position with regard to the re- 
cruitment to Indian Services continued to improve satisfactorily. The entry for the Civil 
Service Examination in August was 183 compared with 134 laat year. The former 
total included 93 Europeans, compared with 71 last year and 31 out of 93 had entered 
for the Indian Civil Service only. There had been no falling off compared with the 
standard before the war in the academic attainments or personal fitness of the candidates 


Earl W'nterton said that he had just seen a most favourable report regarding the 
calibre of the candidates to the Police Service this year. He paid a very high tribute to 
Handyeide (who died in the Frontier action against outlaws) characterising him as 
the trne type of Elizabethan chivalry and courage. He eaid that he had now entered 
immortality which the Frontier tradition conferred only on great bravery, great 
generosity and great honour. There he would stand with Nicholson and Rooskappel. 
Earl Winterton was sure that Britain wonld continue to Bend such best men to the fields 
of honourable and onerous service in India. 

South Africa. 

Earl Winterton said that a year ago the question of the Indians in South Africa 
reached a critical etag?. Opinion in India and of Indians in South Africa was excited 
and alarmed. The whole situation was changed as a reeult of the Deputation to South 
Africa. The Conference woul.i be held between the two Governments at the end of the 
year to explore all possible methods to arrive at an amicable solution of the very difficult 
problem. The Government of India was to be congratulated on the ability and the 
patience with which it had conducted the prolonged negotiations. These qualities with 
the conciliatory spirit of the Union Government had at length made possible a meeting 
of the Conference to discuss the whole problem. Whatever the result of the Conference 
it would at least meet in far more favourable atmosphere than until recently had teemed 
possible. It was not desirable for him to say more lest the word tends to dissipate the 
atmosphere of conciliation and reasonableness which had gathered round the problem 
and be appealed to the Hoube to follow his lead in this respect. 

The Labour Attack. 

Messrs. Thomas Johnston (Labour Member for Dundee) and Ernest 
Thurtle (Labour Member for Shoreditoh) were not, however, to be caught 
napping over such an important question and tackled the Earl so well while 
on the question of the Burma detenus 1 statement that he could only get out 
of the uncouth situation by pointing to the clock and saying, " I cannot 
attempt to satisfy the Hon. Gentleman opposite on that point, and I have 
not time to do so ". 

Mr. THURTLE in his speech said : 

" Before I develop the one point with which I wish to deal, I would like to call 
attention to the very unsatisfactory condition in which India finds itself in its relations 
with this House Although the House excercises supervision over the administration of 
India, and although we are under a solemn pledge to give the people of India real Self- 
Government at the earliest possible moment, it is only by an accident, as it were by an 
aftci thought, that we happen to be spending one parliamentary day in the Session in 
discussing this gi eat subject of India. I am not going to say that that is the fault of 
anyone in particular It is inherent in the way in which our Imperialist organisation is 
built up. The Membeis of this House are very natuially much more concerned with 
domestic issues than they arc with Imperial isbues. Domestic issues like the coal dispute 
arc very actute, and they arc often very urgent, and it is only natural that hon. 
Members should think much more about those issues than about a great question like the 
Government of India, with its 800,000,000 people. The moral of that is that it is the 
duty of this House at the earliest possible moment to divest itself of a responsibility which 
it cannot properly discharge, and it should take the earliest opportunity of giving to India 
the real self-Government which the people of that country want. 

Condemned on Untested Charges. 

The point with which I wish to deal is the internment of political prisoners in 
India without trial, and here I would like to ezprese my astonishment at the attitude 
taken up by the Noble Lord, the Under-Secretary ]ust now, when my hon. Friend th< 
Member for Dundee (Mr Johnston) made a statement about the *' agents provocateur." 
He said that, an inquiry having been made by the officials concerned, without the 
accused men having been hoard, that inquiry was quite sufficient for him, and he wanted 
no further evidence. I am at ton i shod that the Noble Lord should take up such an attitude. 
I always regarded him as being a type of fair-minded Englishman. (An Hon. Member : 
41 So he is ') Well . it does seem to me curious that he should regard an " ex parte " inquiry 
by a set of officials as being satisfactory and as justifying him in calling these two 


men criminals. 1 wonder how the Noble Lord himself would like to be called a criminal 
if certain charges were made against him by people unknown to him, if the soundness 
of those charges was investigated, in his absence, and he was nob entitled either to speak 
himself, to cross-examine the people making the charges, or to have someone there to 
perform this function for him. If in those circumstances he were found guilty, I am 
sure his blood would boil if bomeone afterwards called him a criminal, and I think he 
ought to be a little more circumspect than he was just now in using that most offensive 
term against citizens of the British Empire who have been charged with offences of 
which they have never had a fair opportunity of clearing themselves. Charges have been 
made, but they have never been expressly formulated and their soundness has never been 
tested in a court of law. 

Intimidation of witnesses a Myth. 

1 submit to this Committee that the Bengal Oidmance, which wo are considering, 
is a great blot upon the Government of India. It runs counter to the very elementary 
British principle that no man should be condemned unheard, but, as the Noble Lord 
told us this afternoon, there are some 130 British subjects who are at present under one 
form of rebtraint or another in India, who have been condemned without being given 
the slightest opportunity of proving w nether or not they were innocent. The justification 
for this Bengal Cnminal Ordinance Act was the statement that the ordinary common 
law would not be effective in dealing with these paiticular cases. It, was said that if 
the cases were tried in the open court, there would be intimidation of witnesses and there 
might be violence offered to witnesses, but it is perfectly tiue, as my Hon. Friend the 
Member for Dundee said and I challenge the Noble Lord to pioduce any evidence to 
the contrary that the authoiities in India have not been able to adduce a single case 
in recent times that is, since the Bengal Criminal Ordinance Act came into force, and 
even for two years before that in which there has been any intimidation of witnesses. 
The Noble Lord says he is prepared to produce evidence to show that intimidation has 
been taking place but if he does that to-night he will be doing something which the 
Government of India have been unable to <lo in th<- Legislative Assembly and I should 
hear that evidence with very great interest. 

Unfounded Chaigee. 

I want to suggest to the Committee that there was absolutely no justification at all 
for applying this exceptionally euppressive measure to India. There is no proof that the 
ordinary law has bioken down. It was baid, foi instancy that theie was a great deal 
of smuggling of arms, ammunition, and explosives of one kind and another going on, and 
the warrants which were issued for the search and arrest of these men expressly stipulated 
that they were intended to discover aims and explosives in the residence of these men. 
The searches took place, and there was not a bingle bomb, revolver or explosive ingredient, 
nor indeed a single revolutionary document, found in the houses seaiched. There is one 
particular point which could be tested, and what was the lesult ? The Commiubioner of 
Police for Calcutta, Sir Charles Tegart, who was then Mr. Tegarr, admitted a few days 
after the raids had taken place that not a single revolver nor any explosive or bomb had 
been discovered in these houses. That is an indication of the amount of substance there 
is in the charges against these men. Oiie was smuggling of arms and ammunition, the 
other was revolutionary conspiracy to overthiow the Government by violence and the 
third was conspiracy to assassinate Government officials, The Committee ought to 
remember the kind of men who have been arrested on chai gee of this sort. There is the 
Chief Executive Officer of Calcutta Corporation, a man of great culture, of great refine- 
ment, of unimpeachable character. Is it at All conceivable that that man has been 
conspiring to assassinate Government officials ? There are many other men of his type 
among the prisoners. I do not think the Noble Lord or anyone else could seriously 
suggest that men of that type were really Involved in criminal conspiracy. 

Challenge to Produce Evidence. 

The Government is said to have got evidence. I would like the Noble Lord to tell 
us what kind of evidence they have got. Have they any documentary evidence ? If 
they have, I hope he will say so, If they have not, I hope he will say what kind of evidence 
they are relying upon. Presumably they are relying upon verbal statements by some 
people who may or may not be enemies of those charges. The Noble Lord knows enough 
about human nature to know that motives of jeolousy or hatred may enter into state- 
ments of that kind. It is quite conceivable that some of the brilliant young men in the 


Swarajist Party have made enemies and that these enemies have taken the opportunity 
of bearing the witness against them. The only way of testing whether such charges are 
false or true is by examination and cross-examination. In a British Court of Law the 
unsupported evidence of a witness is not accepted until it has b en subject to examination 
and cross-examination. None of this evidence has been subjected to that. It is expressly 
forbidden in the Ordinance that either these men or their representatives shall be entitled 
to be present when their cases are being heard I do not know what the constitutional 
lawyers of this country think of procedure of that kind, but to me as a layman it seems 
a gross outrage on elementary British justice. 

Chorus of Condemnation. 

A very distinguished public servant who had a long and honourable connection with 
India, said something about it in his time. I refer to Lord Merley. In 1908 there were 
deportations from India without trial and Lord Morley, who was then the Secretary of 
State for India, was very concerned about what was happening. He wrote on the 18th 
November to Lord Minto who was then Viceroy : 

" One thing I do beseech you to avoid a single case of investigation in the absence 
of the accused. 11 

AH these cases to which I ana referring arc taking place in the absence of the 

(< We may argue as much as we like about it and there may be no substantial in- 
justice about it, but it has an ugly, Continental, Austrian, Russian look about it. 1 ' 

In 1909 there was active agitation aming the members of the Tory party themselves 
againat these deportations without trial. In that year Lord Morley wrote, and it is of 
great interest in view of who is the present occupant of the position of Secretary of State 
for India : 

14 In the last fusillade of question at the beginning of the week, a very clever Tory 
lawyer, F. E. Smith, the rising hope of his party, joined the hunt, an'i some of the best 
of our men are getting uneasy. The point taken i the faiJure to tell the deportee what 
he is arrested for, to detain a man vnthout letting him know exactly why, to give him 
chance of clearing himself. In epite of your Indian environment, you can easily under- 
stand how distasteful is such a line as that to our honest Englishmen with their good 
traditions, and you will perceive the difficulty of sustaining a position so uncongenial to 
popular habits of mind. 11 

What Lord Birkenhead Thought in 1909. 

But I think 1 can produce even better authority than that. This question was asked 
on the 23rd May 1909 : 

" Has the evidence against the prisoners concerned been made known to them so as 
to give them an opportunity of explaining or dealing with it "? 

That IB a very peitinrnt question, which I would have been proud to put myself. It 
was not put by me, however ; that question was put by Mr. F. E. Smith, now Lord 
Birkenhead. Again, he asked another question which shows how hr, as a constitutional 
lawyer, soaked in the British tradition that a man thould not be tried and punished 
unheard, was very cone rncd and disturbed at what was happening at the timo, which 
is something analogous to what is happening now. Hr apked : 

" Will the right hon. Gentleman say what is the objection to informing the persons 
who have heen deported as to the evidence and the grounds upon which they have been 
deported ?" 

Demand for Release or Proper Trial 

I am prepared to rest my case on the authority of the present Secretary of State 
for India. What was good law in those days, what was good constitutional usage, what 
was good doctrine of ordinary British justice is equally good to-day. I am prepared 
to support him in demanding that these men should either be released forthwith or be 
given an opportunity of proper trial according to the conception of British justice on 
the attitude taken up by Lord Birkenhead in those days. It is said that every man who 
has been charged is a member of a terrorist organisation. We might ask just as a small 
act of iustice whether he would not give the name of the terrorist organisation referred to. 
That cannot incriminate anybody. There is no witnee ^volved to be subjected to 
violence afterwards if he gives the name. I would invite him to do so as proof of the 
bona-fides of the Government in the matter. 1 would remind him of this it may not 
be true, I have no foundation in fact but there is an ugly suspicion abroad in India 
that these men are being taken and interned not because there IB any reality in 


the charges fromulated against them bat because they were particularly able and 
active members of a political party which was becoming a great menace to the powers 
that be m India. If he would clear my mind and the minds of many people in India 
of that suspicion, he should at least be prepared to tell us the name of the terrorist 

My final word is this, These men have now been interned, and have bad their 
liberty taken away. I do not care what internment it is, but their liberty has been taken 
away for nearly two years and they have had no chance of defending themselves. How 
much longer are they to be kept in this position ? Is it the intention of the Government 
of India to keep these men interned for the rest of their livet ? Not even the Noble 
Lord die-hard though he may be is prepared to get up in this Committee to-night and 
say that these men are to be interned without trial for the rest of their live*. That 
brings us to this. That some time or other the Government must say that those men must 
be released and come tn trial according to the ordinary perceptions of British justice. 
Therefore, I invite the Noble Lord to urge the Government that they must come some 
time or other to say that there shall be no further delay in tbe matter but that for the 
credit of our British justice and the credit of our reputation in India these men in the 
near future shall either be brought to trial or set at liberty. 

Mr. JOHNSTON in the course of his speech said : 

" I rise, however, particularly to discuss a subject which has not been discussed this 
afternoon. The Noble Lord himself, in his introductory statement, skated over the subject. 
I compliment him on his statement this afternoon and on the number of the subjects he 
was able to deal with in a smallish way in the time at bis disposal. Bat I must say 
that 1 admire him when he is more natural than he was. His loquacity was restrained 
this afternoon, and I admired his politeness and affability. Personally, however, 1 
prefer him when he is more pugnacious. Probably I shall succeed him m making him 
more pugnacious before I am finished. 

No charge against Mr. Subhas Bose. 

I want to refer to the subject of deportation of persons without trial, without even 
a charge levelled against them. I want to take one specific case as an illustration the 
case of Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose, the late town clerk, 01 Chief Executive Officer of the 
second city of the Empire, Calcutta. The Chief Executive Officer really means an official 
like our town clerk. Mr. Bose a year and nine months ago was arrested under the Bengal 
Ordinance, or, I think, it is Regulation No. Ill of 1818 parsed at a time when tbe 
descendants of the Grand Mogul eat on the throne of Delhi. The Regulation was passed 
to deal with foreign Powers, with trouble on the frontier, perhaps with French emissaries. 
Mr. Bose was arrested, put into gaol, and has lain there for a year and nine months. 
No charge has been preferred against him to this day. No charge was levelled against 
him, and frequent attempts have been made in this House and elsewhere to extract from 
the Noble Lords a reason, a justification for his itnpribonment without charge or trial. 
It is non-British and inhumane. So far we have failed to obtain any satisfaction. When 
this Ordinance was being passed the late Viceroy, Lord Reading made this statement : 

"This Ordinance is directed solely to those ends, and will in no way touch or affect 
the interests or the liberties of any citizen, whether engaged in private or public affairs, 
so long as they do not give themselves up to criminal methods," 

I am not concerned to deny that the Government of India have arrested persons 
under tbe Ordidancc guilty of violent agitation, or agitation which made for and ended 
in violence. I do not deny that. But what responsible people in India do deny is that 
there is any discoverable person or justification for arresting the town clerk of Calcutta 
and confining a man like him in gaol for 21 months without any charge. 

Agents Provocateur. 

Let me take this evidence. I have here a statement signed by two other persons, 
Bhupendra Kumar Dntt and Jiban Lall Chatterjee. It is to the following effect : 

" When we first joined the Indian National Congress and the N. C. O. movement 
we found mixing freely with tbe young men of the country, amongst others, a certain 
person whose name we are ready to disclose in case of a pioper and impartial inquiry 
into this most serious affair. We have knowledge that while previously locked up in 
gaol as State prisoner, this man, along with some others of his ilk, was in touch with 
and helping the secret service even from gaol. While the non- violent N.C.O. movement 
was at its full swing he was inciting trying to incite young men to form a party of 
violence. He tried to persuade even some of us to take up the leadership of such a 


party as against the party of non-violence N. C. 0. which, according to his preachings 
was doing immense harm to the country. Failing to instigate persons who knew 
something of men and things, he began to characterise those persons with having turned 
moderate, and we know that with an amount of oratory and support and financed 
by dark powers from behind, he succeeded in getting together a batch of young men. 
We had very strong reasons to believe that whatever political violence has been commit- 
ted in Bengal after the non-co-operation movement is the activity of this group consis- 
ing of the innocent dupes of this "agent provocatfur," and was incited and engineered 
by him.' 1 

Here is a criminal evidence. The writers of this letter were prepared to give the 
man's name if need be and everything about him. The name, I think, came out in 
Court, but for good reasons, doubtless, the matter was not pressed by counsel for defence. 

"Czarist Proceeding" 

Here is a definite allegation. It is a definite allegation of a Government agent 
inciting young men to violence. Is it, we are entitled to ask, on the strength of sub- 
orned evidence, that men arc landed in gaol ? We are entitled to ask that question. It 
is an anomalous proceeding. It is a Czarist proceeding. The great Czar of Russia got 
hold of the Intellectuals arid gent them off to Siberia. But the British Empire cannot 
last on this kind of thing. If this man had committed crime he ought to have been 
brought to trial. Let such m^n be charger! t I know what the answer will be in the 
case of Mr. Bose and men of his type or kind. It is that if they were brought to trial 
then the witnesses and others would be murdered. Rut I have firsthand knowledge from 
the Chairman of the Swarajist party who says that strings of cases can be produced, 
t:ied by Indian Judges and Indian juries, with Indians witnesses, where the accused 
was found guilty and where no harm has come to the witnesses or to the jurors. It is 
declared that there is no evidence whatever of any violence to witnesses or to jurors 
unless the Government goes back for almost 18 years. 

The So-called Enquiry. 

Earl Winterton : This is a definite charge and deals with some persons of the 
Hon'ble Member's acquaintance. There was an inquiry into these allegations, and they 
were found to be. utterly unfounded. I cannot give instances at the moment, but I 
will in my reply give nnmberb of cases where the witnesses had been interfered with. 

Mr. Johnston : I will take the first point of the Noble Lord. An appeal was sent 
from gaol to Lord Reading. I understand the Noble Lord to say that these statements 
have been examined by him personally. 

Earl Winterton : Yes, I saw the allegations that were made. They were without 

Mr. Johnston : May I ask the Noble Lord when that inquiry was held ? Were these 
two prisoners represented at the inquiry? Was their evidence taken or was an 
" exparte " inquiry held in their absence ? 

Earl Winterton : If the Hon. Member takes the view, which is very much favoured 
by hie party on this question, then it is useless for me to argue. What I say is tLat an 
inquiry was h;M by the proper authority and the allegations were found to be devoid of 
all foundation. 

Mr. Johnston : Did borne officer of the Government made an inquiry into the definite 
statement made by these two men ? 

Earl Winterton : Two criminals in goal made allegations against the authorities, and 
those authorities, in accordance with the practice of inquiry into such allegations, made 
full inquiries and those allegations were found to be without foundation. I know that 
will not convince the Hon. Member, because he suffers from the delusion 

Mr. Johnston : [ want to know, Captain Fitzroy, if that is a Parliamentary expres- 
sion, and I would remind the Noble Lord that two can play at that game. 

The Deputy Chairman : The Noble Lord did not say anything which is out of order. 

" No Justification for these Arrests/' 

Mr. Johnston : The Noble Lord has been very ungentlemanly, and if he wants that 
kind of fighting he can have it. There has been no impartial inquiry at all into this 
matter, and to say that an inquiry was held by some officer, who may perhaps have been 
implicated in organising agents provocateur, and to hold the inquiry in the absence of 
those who make the accusation, is worse than a Russian procedure. There is no delusion 
about the fact that these people are in goal without trial, and I deny that anybody is a 
criminal until he has been found guilty in an open Court. If a man is simply arrested on 


word of a police officer or an agent-provocateur I deny that he is a criminal. I have 
tried to see both Hides of this question. I have made inquiries among officials and English 
representatives in Calcutta and elsewhere. I have taken the trouble to read up the proceed- 
ings in the Legislative Assembly. I have read the speech made by Mr. Donovan which 
was a very able speech and I find that no attempt has been made to justify under the 
British flag imprisonment without trial and my firm conviction is that there is no justi- 
fication for these arrests. This kind of thing is simply poisoning the whole of our 
administiation in India and is preventing proper harmonious relations between the races 
and the classes. This House ought to ring with indignation against any Government 
which permits the putting of men into prison without a charge and without trial.** 

Col. WEDGWOOD declared that Lord Irwin was perhaps the ideal Viceroy India 
could have during her present troubles, not merely democratic, but his religious sincerity 
enabled him to make a profound appeal to India with its religious dissensions. It 
seemed to him that Lord Irwin was a man to whom religion came only second to pride 
in Britain's traditions and that was exactly a sort of control and guidance India needed 
at present. He hoped a Royal Commission would be established this or next year so 
that it could be ready in 1929. He believed the Labour Party was being developed in India 
which would do most to ou..k down the absurd superstition of walking out of the 
Assembly. He suggested the revival of the title of honourable for all the members of the 
Legislative Assembly so as to exalt the position of the Indian members of the Parliament. 

Mr. Shapurji SAKLA.TVALA who was given a fairly early chance in the debate, 
delivered one of those logically-cut speeches for which he had earned the distinction in 
a section of the English press as possessing a * logic mad ' eastern mind He began by 
confessing his great partiality for the Swaraj Party the differences in which was 
to happily commented upon by the Under-Secretary of State. Mr. Saklatvala'a comment 
on the Governmental position with regard to the communal riots was very enlightening. 
In the course of his speech he said : 

" A morning paper with a notorious title had an editorial article which I passed on 
to the late Minister of Health at the Conference. It deliberately takes credit for the clever- 
ness with which British officials have separated the solidarity of the Hindus and Maho- 
medans in India, It claims full credit for undoing within a very short period, the work 
that was done by Gandhi and Das on sentimental grounds. . .)" The greatest dialecti- 
cal success which Mr. Saklatvala scored in the debate was in his ready retort to Earl 
Winterton's interruption : " If the British people, employers and employed, would pay 
more for the wheat, the cotton and other goods produced m India, India would be able 
to buy more British gouds." Mr. Saklatvala : " It will not go to the cultivator. It will 
go to the broker, the money-lender and the exploiter. The Peninsular and Oriental 
Steamship Company will put up their freight as soon as they realise that raw materials in 
India are producing a good price." On Winterton's dissenting, Mr. Saklatvala came 
down with an illustration as to how the freight of Manganese was raised from 12 to 52 
a ton during the Russo-Japanese war when owing to the scarcity of Russian manganese, 
the Indian manganese appreciated in price from 40 a ton to 120 a ton. His success over 
the chairman who enquired whether the mines were not included in the transferred 
subjects, thereby suggesting that they should not be discussed, was also signal. Mr. 
SakJatvala replied : "There are four mining areas in Central India which are directly 
under Government control, associated with the Government railways for the provision 
of coal." 

E%rl WINTERTON, replying to the debate, remarked that the absence of a serious 
criticism was a tribute to the success of administration of the Government of India during 
the past year. He expressed gratitude at the Oppobitions' non-party attitude in respect 
of the Indian affairs. He emphasised that the Labour Government had accepted the 
policy of the Bengal Ordinance. Evidence has convinced him that all persons dealt 
with under the Ordinance were guilty of terrorist cmspiracy or that they were privy to it. 
He concluded by urging the Indians to co-operate fully in the task of making the present 
stage of the Reforms useful and beneficial, for thus alone would the next stage towards 
the fulfilment of their aspirations be achieved. 

The estimates were then agreed to without division. 

The Lord's Debate on India 


The three speeches on India in the House of Lords on the 28th July 
1926 were a sort of adjunct to the debate in the Commons as given in the 
preceding pages. The discussion in the Lords was the more interesting of 
the two because there we had the present and the late Secretaries of State 
facing each other and following them a rather stricking speech from the 
Ex- Viceroy, Lord Reading. The following is the full text of the speeches 
delivered on the occasion and is reproduced from Hansard : 

" Lord OLIVIER had given Notice to ask the Secretary of State for India to give 

this Houfce information on buch aspects of Indian affaire as he may consider 

to be of general and immediate public interest, and in particular with regard 

to the appaieut diminution in some quarters and recent exacerbation in 

othris of tuibuleiit or unconstitutional manifestations ot popular feeling". 

The noble Lord said : My Lords, I placed this Notice upon the Paper some months 

ago for the simple purpose of enabling your Lordships to receive, as you are always 

anxious to receive, fiom the Secretaiy of State his account of the fortunes of that 

Dependency during the last twelve months, and I included in my Question some of the 

subjects in winch I thought that your Loidships would be interested. In addition to 

those subjects I have privately given notice to the noble Earl of one or two other points 

upon which I shall be very glad if he will give u& some information. 1 read the statement 

that was made in another place by the Under-Srcietary ot State for India and 1 did not 

see in that statement any reference to ou i relations with the Kingdom of Afghanistan or 

to the difficulties which are continually confronting us with regard to the frontier 

tribeb between India and that country. 

I shall be vny glad if the noble Earl can tell us how oar relations with the Emir air 
proceeding with regard to those difficult questions of the allegiance and employment of 
the frontier tribts about which we have had constant correspondence with him, desiring, 
as we do, to retain their loyalty to us whilst not mteifermg with their occasional 
employment in Afghanistan. The position of these tribes in well known to your Lordships. 
Theie is continual uuicst among them and a continual disposition to seek employment 
and a means of livelihood outside their owe country and, owing to that economic fact, 
diffcultien arise both on oui bide and on the bide of Afghanistan. In that connection, I 
notice that this point, is referred to m a Notice that has been given by the nobJe Earl, 
Loid Mayo, with legaid to the establishment of our hold upon that pait of the country 
by the buihiiug ot roads. This is a point to which the noble Earl in another place did 
not irfer, and upon which I think that your Loidshipb would be interested to have 
some information. 

Administration of Indian Jails. 

Another point winch I gave the noble Earl private notice of my intention to raibc 
concerns the administration of Indian gaols. In August last I called hit- attention to 
that subject in connection with a case that had arisen in which a charge was made 
against the administration of Indian gaols and which became the subject of a judicial 
decision. The noble Earl, in replying to me upon that subject, baid that the Government 
of the Punjab, on the publication of the article containing chaiges against the 
administration of Indian gaols, ordered an investigation by the Inspectoi -General of 
Prisons, and that inquiry reported that the allegations were without foundation and 
were false. The Government thereupon were advised that a suit should be brought, and 
the gaoler in the case brought a suit which was riled in the Court of the Sub-Judge 
claiming damages, and the Local Government bore the coat of the suit. On the whole, the 
judgment was in favour of the defendant, and an appeal wab entered, again at the cost of 
the Government, and the noble Earl could not give us further information us to the costs 
of the case at that time. 



I urged that some general inquiry should be made by the Government of India Into 
the administration of gaols and 1 have learned that since that time a much more searching 
inquiry has been made by a Commission appointed for the purpose. The Report has been 
published and I have seen a copy of it. No doubt the Secretary of State for India has 
also seen it, and I think he will agree with me that the facts with regard to the administra- 
tion of gaols revealed m that Report, contrary to the impression conveyed by the Report 
of the Inspector-General, is exceedingly scandalous. I have no doubt it will receive the 
attention of the Government of India as well as of the Government of the Punjab. What 
I wish to know is whether that Report has been brought to the attention of the noble 
Earl, and if he can assure your Lordships that careful attention will be drawn, not only 
in the Punjab but in the rest or India, to the fact that scandals are proved to be 
prevailing in the Punjab precisely of the kind alleged in the Report an organised 
system ot coiruption of the lower ranks of the prison administration whereby practically 
any prisoner whose relations would pay for him would get anything he desired except 
possibly female society, while those persons who did not submit to blackmail were 
subjected to punishments. I have no doubt whatever that those matters will receive 
most careful attention, but I trust we shall have a further asburance that there will be 
a further general inquiry into the rest ot the administration ot the gaols. 

Akali DistuibanccB. 

I have read a statement made by the noble Lord in another place with regard to the 
Akali disturbances. Two or three years ago the condition ot things in the Punjab with 
regard to the Akali difeturbances was most unsatisfactoiy, and as the late Leader of the 
House. Lord Cuizoxi, obbervul \\hi-n I brought matters to his notice in this Hotter. . 

and it is evident theie must have been regrettable mismanagement somewhere to have 

brought about a state of affaiib m which you have bodicb of Sikh fanatics marching 
about the country and having to be bhot down because they aie lesibting the legitimate 
decrees of Government." All of us who have taken aii mteieht in Indian aff an s note 
with great satisfaction that recently there appear to have been none of these unfortunate 
conflicts between the Akali Sikhs and the Government which we weie accustomed to 
hear of nearly every month two or three years ago. Seeing that, the pievious state of 
affairs was credited to mismanagement, we ought to be satisfied that aflaiiH in the, Punjab 
are now being administered in an efficient manner, and we ought to be glad of that 
fact. The noble Eail said that the final condition ot affairs was at present bat ibfactory 
but that the Sikhs were disputing among themselves with a certain amount of liveliness 
as to how their differences were to be settled. I hope he will be able to tell us that the 
live linens is not at all likely to break out again m practical action, such as occuired in 
the Punjab previously, and has occurred in other parts of India, arising out of religious 

The Bengal Ordinance. 

In connection with matters which have interested your Lordships in former debates 
I bhali be glad if he can give ns mlormation wit h iegaul to the upshot of the operation of 
what is known as the P.engal Ordinance, where special powr-in are given to the Government 
to deal with the oiganisatum ot anaichic crime. We have, not heard lately of any 
icciudebceiice of that crime, and I shall be glad if he will give us a statement as to how 
that Ordinance haw woikrd whether there hub b<'cn ncentiy uny iirceBbity to tako 
fuithcr action undei it, and whether, among those persons who weie interned or imprisoned 
under it, it hab been found pobbiblc to release any numbei on giving batiafactory 

Hindu-Muslim Disturbances. 

Then I com** to thn question of the disturbances about which we have heard a good 
deal lately in the Piebs dibturbances aribing largely out of antagonism between the 
Muslim and Hindu communities. Those reports -come to us in the Presb in a manner 
which does not convey veiy much real information as to their significance and origin. We 
are told that theie was an organibcd baud which attacked a Hindu pi occasion, or that the 
Hindus oiganised a disturbance in, front of a mohque. 1 wish the noblo Earl would give 
us, if he is able to do so, borne deeper diagnosis of whafe is really the origin of these 
disturbances. We had m this House yesterday an interesting little commentary on the 
question of riots in < connect inn with the Criminal Justice (Increase of Penalties) Bill, 
and it was pointed out that a riot in English law is really analybable into three processes- 
unlawful assembly, then rout, and then not. 1 want to go back to the origin and cause 
of the liot. Where is the unlawful assembly? Where are these things concerted, and 


by what Instigation ? There is some kind of understanding that a disturbance shall take 
place which results in a body of persons with long staves appearing in the streets, 
prepared to beat any one belonging to an opposing faction. I wish to know if the noble 
Earl has any information as to the sources of the disturbances. 

Are they religions,or are they po'itical, aimed at destroying members of the electorate 
of the opposition ? Or arc they of a wider character ? That is to say, are they really 
disturbances got up for the purpose of criminal disorder, for the purpose of creating 
disorder in which there can be robbery or old grudges can be paid off because 
I have seen some indications in the communications from India that the Government 
of India are taking the view that there is now in Calcutta a large body of rather 
turbulent disorderly and criminal people, who flock in from the country, prepared 
for any kind of disorder and disturbance. Therefoie it seems possible that those 
are the three sources of the instigation of these riots and I shall be glad if the noble 
Earl has been able to discern and diagnose in what respect those various causes contribute. 
I will say no more upon the question of disturbances. I have indicated the points on 
which 1 shall be very glad if we can have information. 

The Reforms Question. 

Finally, the noble Earl will, I hope, be able to tell us something wifh regard to 
what I may call strictly the political situation. When the noble Earl last addressed 
your Lordbhips on the subject of India he made a very straightforward and m my opinion 
a very proper and liberal statement of his position with regard to the constitutional 
questions. I had urged that, the Government should take into consideration at an early 
date, in view of the Report of the Muddiman Committee, the question whether the 
Constitution could not be made more workable, because it was obvious on the face of it 
that there were elements of that Constitution which really it was almost impossible 
to work for the purposes for which, and in the spirit in which, it was unquestionably 
designed. My colleagues in the late Government and myself, in all the public utterances 
and writings which wo have given vent to on this subject, have invariably taken the view 
that although there might be unsatisfactory features in the Montagu-Chelmsford Conbtitu- 
tion, the best policy for the Nationalist Party in India was to go in and make the best 
of them ; that, by doing BO they would be able to use the existing Constitution for such 
purpose as it could be used for, and that, bona fide co-operation in its working would b 1 
the best demonstration and the best test of those elements in which it was really defective 
and unworkable. 

In response to that the noble Earl said that the question of the further consideration 
of this matter was entirely open, but that for his part he urged that there should be 
responsive co-operation and that the best service which Indian Nationalists could do to 
their countiy was to co-operate responsibly in working the present Constitution. That 
was a perfectly fair demand to make. I should be very glad if the noble Earl can tell 
UH whether there has really been any material response to that and whether he sees in 
the present situation any sipns of encouragement that the response will go on. That is 
the point upon which I should be glad if he can give us some information. I am not 
moving for Papers. I have raised this question simply for the purpose of eliciting infor- 
mation for your Lordships, and possibly others of your Lordships will contribute further 
inquiry upon subjects on which they desire information. 

The Secrptaiy of State for India (the Earl of BIRKENHEAD) : My Lord?, the 
noble Lord, following his usual very courteous and I think very convenient practice, 
acquainted me with the particular question upon which he desired information. I am, 
therefore, as a preliminary to the few general observations that I shall find it proper to 
make, able to deal so far as I can with the interrogations which the Noble Lord has 
put to me. First in the order of his questions I will place that which he addressed to me 
with reference to the coercive action taken against the Bengali terrorists. I have never 
concealed my view that the whole country, and indeed the Empire, owes a considerable 
debt to the Labour Goveinment at the moment when the noble Lord discharged the 
responsibility winch I undertake to-day for the courageous action which, acting in concert 
with the late Viceroy, Lord Reading, they undertook. I inherited that policy from the 
noble Lord as heredttas perhaps damnosa> but certainly necessary, and I have attempted 
in this particular matter to carry on the policy which the noble Lord bequeathed to me 
and in the wisdom of which I was, and am, entirely acquiescent. 

Bengal Arrests. 

I will now give the noble Lord the information on that point for which he asks. 
At the end of 1921, there had been made 46 arrests under the Regulation of 1818 and 65 


under the Ordinance of 1924. From that date up to June 30, 1926 there have been 42 
further arrests, of which one was under the Regulation and the rest were under the 
Ordinance or the Act which continued the Ordinance. Nineteen of these were made 
after Octoljpr 1 last year. The noble Lord is naturally anxious to know how these 163 
captives have been treated, and I will give that information. Of the 47 State prisoners 
under the Regulation, 31 have been transferred to detention under the Ordinancea 
etep which I "know meets with the approval of the noble Lord, and which was taken BO 
that they might be domiciled in villages instead of being confined in gaols. The remain- 
ing 16 are still in prison. I have, therefore, to account for 137 piisonrrs under the 
Ordinance and the Act of 1925, that is to say, 65 arrested in 1924, 41 arrested later, and 
31 transferred from being State prisoners. Of these, only 59 are now in gaol ; 64 are 
required to live in specified villages other than their own homes ; 12 are obliged to 
live in their own homes ; t) have been released ; one killed himself; and two have been 
convicted of ordinary offences under the law and are undergoing normal sentences. There 
were thus on June 30 of this year 125 per&ons remaining under control under the Act 

I may be told though 1 doubt whether 1 shall be told from any responsible source 
that nine releases are very few. But I have to remind the House that within the 
period covered by the brief survey 1 have attempted theie have been manv incidents 
which must make any Government cautious in its decision*. Some members of the con- 
Bpiracy have been discovered in possession of a technically very complete apparatUH for 
forging currency notes, others have been convicted of dealing in smuggled weapons with 
Chinamen a purpose which seems remote from any legitimate aspiiations ; nine of 
them were convicted of conspiracy and the possession, for purposes of that, conspiracy 
m or near Calcutta, of revolvers, cartidgee, bombs, and chemicals ; and a tenth, an 
associate of the nine, of being concerned in importing arms from overseas These ten men 
after conviction, in the Alipore Gaol, murdered the police officer who had done special 
service in fighting this terror. As long as I discharge these responsibilities 1 am not, in 
the face of these facts, much moved by criticisms of my conduct in hesitating to release 
or advise the release of men belonging to such associations 

But the Government of India has throughout, in my judgment, exhibited m this 
matter every quality of reasonableness. It has shown itself ready to use clemency wheie 
clemency is safe. It has, for instance, lately remitted the remainder of the sentence on five 
men convicted in the years 1913 and 1916 of offences committed undei the direction of 
these same organisations, and the only condition attached to the remission was that the 
convicts should keep clear of the terroi ist movement and report immediately to the authority 
any attempt made to draw them into it. Moreover, I think I ought to add that seven 
of the nine releases have been made in the three months from February to April of tl 
year and the process of transfer from gaols to villages is always in progress. It 
therefore, I think quite clear, and will be so to the noble Lord, that each case is unde 
constant examination and that detention is not extended beyond the time and di'gra 
required. I have only to add upon this particular matter that the present Viceroy i 
fully acquainted with my views in this matter and will, T am sure, take such action or 
make such inquiries or proposals as may seem to his Government to be definable and not 
to be dangerous to the public. 

The Sikh Trouble 

I will deal next with the question which the noble Lord put to me with rcfeicnce 
to the Sikh disturbances. The prolonged stiuggle over the management of Sikh Gnrd- 
waras, which had at one time the, unfortunate effect of putting a laige body in that 
community in open strife with the Government, has at last been tn ruinated, w* may hope, 
by the enactment, of a law passed without any opposition, for conti oiling Sikh endow- 
ments and religions property in the- Punjab. So far as I can judge at this distance from 
the scene, only a few irreconcilables are still fighting against the will of their leaders, 
being bent on keeping the grievance open and preventing the peace which might be 
xpected to 'follow the settlement and release, upon pi omise of co-operation, of almost all 
the men who weie under trial for their acts of lawlessness duiinp the agitation. We may, 
therefore, I feel sure, safely congratulate the Governor of the Pi ovmce, on the success 
with which he and his officers have contributed to this happy ending, if 1 am not too 
kanguine in seeing the restoration of order, an end of the cmi? which has occasioned 
great anxiety not only to the Government of India but to the Government of this country, 

Conmnmnal Troubles. 

Now I approach a graver topic to which the noble Lord has specifically requested 
my attention. It is that of the outbreak of renewed communal disturbances in an embit- 


tercd and violent form in so many different parts of India. It would indeed be true 
to say that this recrudescence has been the most marked circumstance to which I ought 
to draw attention now, twelve months almost to a week since I last addressed your 
Lordships upon the general topic of Indian affairs When 1 made my first speech as 
Secretary of State, there was no alarming situation so far as the bitterness of communal 
disturbance was concerned, and quite other topics engaged almost the whole of the speech 
to which I found it necessary to abk the attention of your Lordships. In the last twelve 
months undoubtedly th^re has been a renewal in the bitterest form of disturbances, violence 
and bloodshed which must always occasion the deepest anxiety to tho a e who are chaiged 
with the responsibility for order and good government in India. 

The Noble Lord invited me to a somewhat profound and difficult analysis of tnis 
topic. I will certainly not refuse aw far as I can, though fully conscious of its difficulties, 
to afford to the Noble Lord any ushisiance which it is in my power to give in the re- 
searches which he has recently made upon this bubject But. if I Bought, for hours by 
every ingenuity of speech of which 1 could make myself the master to explain what is 
fundamental in British policy upon this matter, I could n->t equal or in any way attempt 
to dischaige my task so completely as by citing the famous passage from Queen Victoria's 
Proclamation on the assumption, in 1858, of the Government of India by the Crown a 
great and memorable moment. If your Lmdshipa will be so patient, the passage is not 
Jong and I will i^ad it, because, it is expressive, of the spirit- and the only spirit in which 
the Government of India, in bo far as its duties aie undeitaken in this country, is 

" Firmly relying Oureelvcb on the truth of Christianity, and acknowledging with 
gratitude the solace of Religion, We disc'aira alike the Right and the Desire to impose 
Our Convictions on any of Our Subject W^ declare it to be GUI Royal Will and 
Pleasure that none be in any wise favoured, none molested or disquieted by Reason of 
their Religious Faith or Observances, but that all shall alike enjoy th<* equa 1 and im- 
partial protection of the Law ; and W do strictly charge and enjoin all those who may be 
in authority under Us that they abstain from all inteifereuce wit h the Religious Belief 
or Worship of any of Our Subjects on pain of Our highest Displeasure." 

That alone was, and is, th^ high purpose with which those who have resp inability in 
the Government of India and thos who have responsibility in this eountry approached 
what burely has from time to time proved one of the most difficult problems which in the 
East have ever baffled and peiplexed Western civilisation. 

An observation falls to be nnde upon the o-cumstance that it should have been 
found necessary to make these matters so plain 70 years ago. Its Inclusion in the Pro- 
clamation reminds ua that 70 years ago, no less than to-day, the possibility of antagonism 
based upon differences of ichgious view was one of thr live and formidable issues which 
the Administration of that date had to face, for the disclaimer in the firbt sentence of the 
passage which I have read (though no doubt fears had been expressed of an official pro- 
selytising Christianity and, indeed, were, in part thn cause ot the Mutiny) was not the 
main, and certainly not the most important, purpose of the announcement ; but it was 
nevertheless thought prudent to explain what was the view taken by the British Govern- 
ment of that day on these matters. 

Having regard to the fact that on the Continent of Euiopr even toleration is a plant 
of comparatively recent, and not evi i n yet of too robust a growth, it would be astonishing 
if it were a well-rstabhshed rule of hfc in India, wheic, moreover, it must cons antly be 
remembered, the conflict lira, not as it has lain in Europe through the centuries between 
doctrinally separated sects of the followers of Christ, but between the adheieuts of two 
fundamentally different and in many respects opposite sybtems of religion, whose religious 
differences practically and this is the gravity of the point are conterminous with racial 
differences. The superficial grounds for friction between the Hindu and the Muslim in 
the practice of their respective rites are obvious and well known. 

Pre-war History of Distuibances. 

It is sufficient for us only to mention the duty enjoined at certain festivals to engage 
in animal sacrifices, with a particular preference for the sacrifice of oxen, and to contrast 
this with the Hindu's passionate conviction of the sanctity of that animal and the un- 
utterable sacrilege involved in causing its violent death. Or, you may take the Hindu's 
duty to worship idols and contrast it with the Moslem abhorrence of any action or prac- 
tice savouring of idolatry. Or again, you may examine, the boisterous rites which form 
BO conspicuous an element in much of the Hindu worship with the solemnity of Moslem 
prayer. Nor, indeed, Can the Moslem be expected to forget that the Raj which the 
British Raj displaced not so very long ago in the immemorial memories of the East- was 


a Moslem Raj, and that with the collapse* of the Mogul Empire the followers of bis creed 
in India have fallen, for reason it would take rae too long to analyse here. They have 
fallen from a condition of political domination to that of a minority which is at a clear 
disadvantage in the competitive struggle for existence under modern conditions not 
merely in the matter of numbers, but alto, and more markedly, of efficiency in the 
political field. 

In the old days of paternal administration, when the British Government 
was in fact as in name the father and the mother of its Indian subjects, that status of the 
backward child caused the Moslem no great concern. He was content to trust no 
parental impartiality to see that he received reasonable treatment, and the question of 
what would happen to him when, if ever, the state ot pupilage came to an end had not 
emerged in his mind into the field of practical politics. In these conditions religious or 
communal antagonisms have always been one of the causes which have tended to lead to 
riots or to mob violence in India and, naturally, the tendency has b^en greatest on those 
occasions when the revolutions of the Moslem calendar have brought together into one 
season the chief feast and fast of the two creeds a condition which happily only recurs 
at intervals of about 30 years or, again, when Hindu marriage processions, with their 
attendant music, happen to collide with Moslem mouming processions or even disturb 
Moslem worshippers in their mobques ; or, again, when the Hindus of a village have 
combined to endeavour to prevent the cow sacrifices of the Bakr-Id. 

Although during thr last 40 years there have been several occasions on which Hindu- 
Moslem conflicts have born on a senous hcale leading to a considerably loss of life, it ia 
on the whole true to eay I hat until the last five years their occurrence haft been sporadic 
and, with one exception, probably fortuitous. And when 1 say fortuitous in this con- 
nection, I mean not the result of oiganiftatiou. The exception which I have in my mind 
was the serious cow-killing riots of 1893 m the eastern distiictb of th<* United PIOVIUCTB 
and in Bihar, which seem to have been due, if you examine then intensity and scope, 
to propaganda of the curious native-Indian kind which has hornetimes, though rarely, 
proved to be recurrent in Indian histoiy. If I may mak" my summaiy of tins period 
complete, I would say that the Fax Untanmca and the watchful care of the police and 
magistracy \\eie in co-o pei ation, adequate to keep in check the mob violence which pio- 
ceulcd from this particular cause no less than that which proceeded from the other chief 
cause for organised violence in India disputes about the ownership of land. 

The Lucknow Pact. 

Such was the condition of affairs in this matter, as 1 read the history of the period, 
until the War ; though even before the Wat signs had not been wanting that the Mahu- 
medan had begun to realise, some years before 1JU4, that the political future of India was 
not static and that he could no longer afford to leave the political future of his own 
community to the care of chance and of a benevolent and unprejudiced Goveinment,. 
Hitherto he had associated with the Congress, and indeed had held rather conspicunubly 
aloof from political agitation of all kinds. Hut in 11)06, \\ith the Morley-Mmto reforms 
looming into sight, lie took the first steps towards ioiramg his own CongiPbh the All- 
India Moslem League and in October, 1906, a deputation of the principal men of the 
community, headed by the Aga Khan, obtained from Lord Mint o an assurance that the 
Moslem community was entitled to separate representation on the Council and, by reason 
of its political importance, to repre>entation greater than mere numerical proportions 
could jubtify a ptoniise or admission, not to be disputed because it is indisputable, to 
which the community has grappled itself as to a sheet anchor ever since. 

Two years of the War and of the Indian bacnfice of life and treasure involved werp 
sufficient to produce in India, as they produced elsewhere, much ferment of ideas in men's 
minds, and when it was known that changes must be looked for m the system of govern- 
ment the Hindu quickly realised that an essential condition of successful political 
activity in this direction was that he should carry the Moslem with him in his demands. 
He realised, too, that this condition could not be secured unless the two communities 
could come to terms as to their respective claims to repiesrntation. Hf-nce, the much 
advertised "Lucknow Pact'* of Christmas, 1916, which was an agreement between the 
All-India Congrebs Committee and the Committee of the All-India Moslem League to 
give Mahometan minorities in certain Provinces enhanced representation in Legislatures 
and other elected bodies at the expense of the Mahometan majorities in Bengal and the 
^Punjab. Hence also the apparent agreement of advanced Hindu and Mahomedan 
opinion upon the Congress-League scheme of reforms which was formulated as the demands 
of United India for political advance in almost the same month of the same year. 


Bet the Lucknow Pact of 1916, like Mr. C. R, Das's more recent Bengal Pact, Drought 
with it not peace but a e word. A few months sufficed to show that the Moslem League 
was not unanjmoua as to the soundness of the policy of furthering the agitation for 
Swaraj, and that the advanced section was far from represeuting general opinion in the 
League and still less general Moslem opinion outside it. The Pact was attacked from 
both sides by Hindus as an unjustified surrender to Moslem obstinacy and by Moslems 
as a wholly inadequate recognition of their claims while the attempts which the more 
advanced Moslem leaders had made to persuade their followers to abandon the sacrifice 
of cattle (surely, I should have thought, a hopeless crueadr) produced no response. Mean- 
while the frill of Baghdad m March, 1917, and other events in the War weie providing 
matenal which the more extume leaders were able subsequently to organise into what 
became known as the Caliphate movement. 

The Wai -Time Outbreaks. 

In this tense state of opinion SPIIOUS Hindu-Moslem liots occurred in September, 
1917, in Bihar and the United Provinces, and again in March, 11)18 when the outbreaks, 
within your Lonibhipb' recollection, at Kartarpur ami Shahabad w^re exceptionally 
violent. In September, 1918, again thriv were serious Hindu- Moslem disturbances in 
r&Jcntta, where fiie-aim* pioved to be necessaiy in the hands of the police to re-store 
order. With the t.< immatiori ot the War the Moslems found rt ne wed cause of anxiety 
in the Peace trims foi \\lwh at that penod the Tuikish nation was agitating, while the 
future of th" Moslem Holy Places and the Caliphate continued equally to be agitated. 
Within six months fiom the date of the Armistice th> feelings of both communities were 
laeeiated by the measures taken to supprehS the Punjab dibtuibances of April, 1919. 

This was the situation and I thought it wotth while- some what laboriously to read 
this to you which gave Gandhi and the Ah brolheis their opportunity. For the next, 
three and a halt years the uon-co-opeialion campaign, though it wab accompanied by 
widespread disordei and considerable bloodshed, unit-d the two communities against the 
Government and di veiled them fiom attacks upon each other, though even during this 
period there were communal disturbances at Agra and Phihbit and in Rangoon m the 
year 1920. Early m 1922 Gandhi, whose influence, as I read the history of those days, 
had been on the wane for some months, was mcaiceratml, and in September of that year 
the Mahometans made violent assaults upon the Hindus in Multan. Since then hardly 
u month has passed wituout the occurrence somewhere and quite often at several places 
simultaneously of serious trouble, each outbreak of which, not excluding, of course, the 
appalling Moplah irbeliion, has Jeff an increasing legacy of bitterness and, among the 
leas responsible element", a detoinnnation for reprisal. 

Leaders and Revivalism. 

It would be tedious, even if it were possible within any margin of time open to me, 
to enumerate th" various platforms upon which during the last three years the leaders ot 
b th communities have expressed their abhonence of these occurrences, and their recogni- 
tion of what in, after all, a plain truism, that their occurrence is an insuperable bar 
to future political progress , yet, at the same time that th su demands have been made, 
responsible prisons in both communities have- been either fostei ing, or at all events not 
discouraging, a kind of militant revivalism on the pait of their cn-iehgionists, the first 
result of which is effectively to prevent any return to tolerance and harmony and which 
inevitably means leactiou in the outlook of both communities. It is, in consequence, 
impossible to deny that the piesent state of communal relations is-- to some extent which 
1 cannot piecisc'y dcfiur, but I make the affirmation quite plainly connived in by the 
leaders of the two communities, and Una ciicumstance involves a distinction as novel as 
it is smistei between the outbiraks of to-day and the outbreaks of the early period. 

Reforms and Commurialisrn, 

It would, therefore, in my judgment, be untrue, for the reasons that I have given, 
to deny all conned ion between the relorms and the present state of tension between 
Hindu and Moslem. But, at the same time it is a grossly inadequate explanation to 
attribute it either to thft existence of the reforms or to their nature. The historical 
sketch that 1 have huniedly attempted should be sufficient to dispose of that conception. 
So far as a tangible cause can be assigned -attempting the analysis to which the 
noble Loid invited me it is to bf found in the general unsettleraent of ideas and of 
material conditions which followed in the wake ot the War an-i which gave for 
good or for ill, who knows ? its final quietus to the system of paternal Government 
which the British Government had carried to high perfection during the preceding half 


century, and which thereby led the component elements of the Indian population, 
Hindu and Moslem, Brahmin and non-Brahmin, landlord and tenant, outcast and 
caeteman, to take stock of their new position in relation to their neighbours, and to insist 
with growing and particular vehemence on their own rights and claims. 

It IB, no doubt, true that the system of communal representation upon which the 
present as was the last Indian electoral system is based tends to stereotype this 
particular line of cleavage, but there is not the slightest ground for the assertion 
that, had Parliament insisted, in the teeth of opposition which would have been 
puibued, in fiaminp the reforms of 1919 without that feature, the relations 
between Hindu and Moslem would have become moie amicable that of late they have 
been. The strong probability, almost the certainly, is that they would have be- 
come much more violently embittered. One result of the democratic ideals dissemi- 
nated in India as elbe where a* the outcome of the War that vague and devastat- 
ing post-War sentiment to which we owe so much disaster was the realisation that 
the pnnciple of maj.aity rule has now to be reckoned with, ami that in politics, as in 
wariare, victoiy tends to lie witli the big battalions. To this, 1 am sure, is due the 
proselytising tendencies which both communities have so maikedly shown during the 
past thrre yeais. 

1 regretted a litHe that the noble Lord whose language has been so moderate in the 
years in which I have held tins tiubt and whose attitude in thin House, and elsewhere had 
invariably been so helpfulshould have used an expreBbion which, unless I misunderstood 
him, indicate the view that th^re had been in the past yeais some partiality or pi e- 
dilection, on behalf either of the Government of India or the Qoveixinirnt here 

Lord Olivier : May I intenupt ? Is the noble Earl referring to anything that I said 
in my speech ? 

The Earl of Hirktnhead : No, I was referring to a letter that the noble Lord wrote, 
and if the noble Loid trllb mr that the construction that I place upon it is wrong, 1 
will not add another \\oid on the topic, because 1 do not desire why should I ? to 
pursue it. I will telj the noble, Loici quite plainly what 1 have in iny mind. I read an 
intei eating letter which the noble Lord contributed to u The Times," and I certainly 
placed upon it this conduction and he will tell me whether 1 was right or wrong 
that the Government ot India or the Government heie had in the past few years shown 
borne partiality to the Moslem in this long rivalry which I have attempted historically to 
icconetruct to-day. 1 do not often make mistakes on such points, and 1 should be 
surprised if the noble Lord disputed the estimate that I have formed of thr impression 
which he desired to give. 1 would assure your Lordships and the noble Lord that it 
i rally is not true. Tha noble Lord would certainly not advance the claim that, while 
he was becretaiy of State for India, he showed any preference for the Moslems an 
against the Hindus. The noble Lord, so for as my information extends and 1 havr 
access to many documents was t-ciupulously impartial between both communities, as 
was his duty. Nor, indeed, do 1 think that the nobln Lord will chaige against me, in 
anything that I have said or anything that I hare done, any deviation from the same exact 
fetandard of impartiality. 

Of this I am ceit.ain, that the noble Lord would be the last man in the world to say 
this of those who have been the Viceioys through that time, of Lord Heading, whom we 
welcome here to-day in this house, and who discharged bo many important, duties and 
confronted so many gieat anxieticb duiing hib Viceroyalty. No one, I am suie certainly 
not the noble Lord would say of him that any such paitiahty was ever exhibited. Aa 
for thf prebent Viceroy, whote elevated spvcch on thebe. top:cs, couched in high and 
noble language, has made, 1 believe, a profound impression in India and breathed in 
evciy sentence the highcbt conceptions ot idealism, which have run like a golden thiead 
through the wiiole of our histoiic associations with this penintula certainly the noble 
Loid will not accuse him of that partiality. 

1 affirm plainly two things. In the iirst place, thrre never has been a moment 
when the Government of India has addressed itself to these difficult questions in any 
spirit except that of holding the scales equally, justly and impartially between the 
disputants. And 1 affirm in the second place and this is not less important that 
Moblems and Hindus alike realise this truth, and it may interest your Lordships to 
know I give you no precise figures, though I could do so if time served that over and 
over again, when there has been the gravest alarm because of the recrudescence of these 
ontbieaks, both parties have approached the British authorities and asked that they 
bhould send representatives to deal with the disturbances that have arisen. I could afford 
your Lordships many striking illustrations, some of them couched in very diamatic 
language, of this ciicumstance. 


No, my Lordi, there has been in oar part no partiality. There will be no partiality , 
nor do I think it even worth while to make more than a passing observation upon an even 
baser charge which has been made. It is the charge that the Government of India, or 
we in this country, do not contemplate with disfavour the accession to our anxieties 
which these disturbances produce. Indeed, the expression has been quoted, as if it were 
part of our policy, Divide et Impera. Little have they studied the history of our 
association with India if they think that it was in that spirit that we have discharged 
the responsibilities into which we almost accidentally drifted. Little indeed upon a 
wider stage, have they appreciated the political genius of this nation, which has created 
and maintained that loose and amazing structure, the British Empire, if they think 
it was by petty and squalid maxims of this kind, by low and cunning tricks, that oar 
forefathers established, and those who came after maintained and we still discharge 
oar inherited duties. 

Does any sensible or experienced person believe that we who are trustees of order 
in that sub-continent does any one believe that it can reflect anything but discredit upon 
our fiduciary duties if we cannot even induce those who live with us there to maintain 
order and avoid bloodshed ? The power which is responsible in India has nothing but 
discredit to reap from the spread of these disorders, and if I have even thought it 
necessary to say a word upon this topic it is because it has been these defamatory charges 
still continue to be made by those who ought to know, and in my suspicion do know better. 

Lord Olivier : If the noble Earl has finished with that passage, I shall have to ask 
him at the conclusion of the debata to allow me to say a word in reply. 

The Earl of Birkenhead : I should gladly have given way if the noble Lord had 
t old me that I had misconceived the object of hie observations, and I should not have 
pursued the topic. 

Lord Olivier : To interrupt the noble Earl while he waa in full career would havfc 
been a little difficult. 

The Panjab Jail Committee's Report. 

The Earl of Birkenhead : I shall be glad to listen, as I am sure your Lordships will, 
to any observations which the noble Lord wishes to make on the subject. He asked me 
to deal with another specific subject and that was the Punjab Commission's Report on 
the goals. He is correct in say log that on an earlier discussion I had not full informa- 
tion, and I do not think the noble Lord himself had. I ought, I think, frankly to deal 
with the matter. Attention was publicly drawn to the treatment of prisoners in the Punjab 
goals by some allegations made in the newspaper " Bandemataram " in October, 1923, 
that prisoners in the Multan goal were subjected to indignities and cruelties, notably 
those of '* Gidar Kutt." It was alleged that there was indiscriminate beating by convict 
warders. A buit for defamation was brought against the newspaper by the gaoler, and 
the Court of the Sub-Judge awarded him nominal damages, but held the greater part of 
the libel to be true. 

The case formed the subject of tbe motion which the noble Lord made in the month 
of August, 1926. Thereafter, with my concurrence a Committee was appointed by the 
Punjab Government in November last to inquire into the allegations of the practice of 
unauthorised punishments and indulgences in the Punjab goals and generally into the 
state of discipline among the staff and inmates and the adequacy and effectiveness of the 
supervision over both and proposed remedies for defects and the means of stopping the 
ma 1- practices. The Committee consisted of a member of the Indian Civil Service, Mr. 
Lumsden, an Indian Judge of the Lahore Court, and an Indian barrister. The Com- 
mittee reported in the early spring of this year, and some of its findings were, I confess, 
of a very disquieting character. The most important of its general conclusions was that 
unauthorised punishments were frequently awarded and that there was ample evidence 
of the existence of unauthorised indulgences. It stated that the discipline of the goals 
visited was merely superficial, and while various causes of this were set out, the root cause 
was held to be that a prisoner could, by mere payment of money, provide himself with 
all sorts of luxuries. It was also stated that over-crowding was prevalent and that 
various improvements of the staff were needed, while the classification of prisoners was 
found to be defective. 

It was naturally agreed between myself and the Viceroy that this was a Report which 
ought to be published. It was so published on May 28, the resolution of the Punjab 
Government being published at the same time showing the action taken or contemplated 
upon the Report. While warning has been issued against unauthorised punishments and 
indulgences the Punjab Government recognises that radical measures for the improvement 
of the supervising and executive agencies in the goals are necessary. Imagine that tbe 



noble Lord hai read that Beport. Unless he baa any doubt as to the completeness and 
the drastic character of the recommendations made I do not think it necessary to pursue 
the topic in detail, but the Viceroy is in complete agreement with the Secretay of State 
that almost all those recommendations must be carried out, and I am sure that the noble 
Lord will realise that those who have been responsible have realised how grave was the 
state of affairs disclosed and that every conceivable step that can be taken to set that 
particular house in order will be taken. 

India and Afghanistan. 

Now I approach the last topic but one with which I mast shortly deal. The noble 
Lord asked me whether I have any observations to make on the subject of our relations 
with Afghanistan and the Amir. For many generations this topic has been one of 
delicacy and of difficulty, and I must deal with it as so important a topic in our foreign 
affairs must be deait with, by any Minister even though he be the Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs, and with an infinitely greater degree of caution when he who addresses 
Your Lordships has no such responsibility. In the first place, let me say that our 
relations with the Amir continue to be of the most friendly character and I take this 
opportunity of saying with as much formality as I can that the excellence of the relations 
which at the moment subsist between that Monarch and ourselves is in no small measure 
due to the taet and ability which have been shown by Sir Francis Humphreys, our 
representative in Afghanistan. He has indeed deserved well of this country. Many 
changes have taken place in Afghanistan and in the general character of the problems 
j ointly founded upon Afghanistan which have from time to time engaged the attention of the 
British Governments. But this at least I may make plain. The concern of Great Britain 
and India in Afghanistan is not less than it was in 1885, It is not lees than it was in 
1907 when it brought us to an agreement with Russia, or in 1921, when we made a 
Treaty of good neighbour! i ness with Afghanistan. If such interests as we have in 
Afghanistan were ever seriously threatened we should not, 1 believe, find ourselves without 
the means of safeguarding them. 

The Reforms Question. 

Now I have only one subject upon which the noble Lord invited me to make some 
observations. He spoke in kindly terms of the observations 1 made a year ago upon the 
subject of the effect, as far as it was clearly discernible at that period, of the Montagu- 
Chelmsford reforms. The noble Lord did me no more than justice when he said it was 
my purpose in speaking a year ago to exercise, as far as any words of mine could do it, 
the spirit of distrust which had misguided and perverted so many intelligent men into an 
attempt to make the constitution absolutely unworkable. That was a strange mood for 
a nation to pass through. It could, indeed, be made the subject of debatable argument 
either that the constitutional reforms went too far or that the constitutional reforms did 
not go far enough ; but it sorely was a strange policy for those who held that the reforms 
had not gone far enough to render if they could, ridiculous and futile that which had 
been given in an experiment which was certainly one* of the most novel and one of the 
boldest that any country, the centre of an Empire, had ever, in my reading of human 
history, attempted. But such was the strange fact to which we had to accommodate our- 
selves. There was no method of dealing with the difficulties which emerged except by 
reliance upon the precautionary measures which we had not omitted to introduce into 
the legislation which gave the constitution. And so the attempt to destroy and render 
ridiculous the constitution failed. 

But when I spoke a year ago, I plainly indicated that, so far at least as I was 
concerned and so far as I could read the minds of my colleagues, I believe it would 
have been true also of them we were always open to conversion and to conviction if and 
when we saw among the men, able men, who take part in politics in India a genuine desire 
to make the best of the existing constitution. We did not indeed, ever desire, expect or 
invite that they should say it was the Constitution which satisfied them. We never asked 
them to deprive themselves of any one of the legitimate rights of an ordinary Parlia- 
mentary opposition, if they chose in bitter invective to disparage the adequacy of that 
which we had given them. After all, bitter invective has been used in many Western 
Parliaments without doing any one any particular harm. But it was, indeed, futile to 
expect that we should treat a general scheme of non-co-operation, which carried in its 
womb the clear determination to wreck the Constitution which, with painful construction, 
had been formed in this country that we should treat tl is as a claim for making pre- 
maturely, according to the terms of that Constitution itself, changes and developments 
in it. Well, if anybody expected that of an English Government he had indeed given 
inattentive study to the history of the British people. 


What I said a year ago I say again to-day, subject only to one observation which 
I will presently make. I do believe that I discern to-day a realisation in many quarters 
in India not lacking in influence that this policy was ill-conceived, that it was predestined 
to failure, that it is failing, if it has not already failed, and I think that I see, though 
neither confidently nor dogmatically do I proclaim it, the growth of a realisation that 
the only sensible and patriotic course to follow at the moment for a citizen of India who 
believes that there are potential qualities which will one day make the inhabitants of 
that country qualified to take in hand their own responsible destinies is one of sympa- 
thetic co-operation with those in this country who have asked for sympathetic co-opera- 
tion and for nothing else. 

Beforms and Communal Differences. 

I said that the observations that I made upon this point must be read with a single 
caution. I have already spoken at considerable length upon the existence of communal 
disturbance in India. It is necessary to bring that topic into relation with the subject 
with which I am at this moment concerned. You cannot divorce one from the other. 
And, indeed, even those who are most enthusiastic in the belief that the date fixed in the 
constitutional instrument ought to be accelerated they, I think, themselres cannot be 
blind to the relevance of that other topic to which I have adverted. It is plain that any 
impartial and competent tribunal that was set up in order to revise the Constitution, in 
order to advise Parliament as to whether the powers already conceded should be extended 
or not must be most vitally affected by the question : What at the present moment is 
the relationship between these two great dominant sects ? Is it of such a kind as to 
suggest that at this moment it would be wise in their own interest and in relation to 
their own desires to accelerate the moment at which a decision fraught with consequences 
so grave and perhaps so durable should be taken ? 

Therefore, on all these grounds, I am brought back to the topic, which indeed has 
principally engaged me in the course of the observations for which I have asked your 
Lordship's indulgence. Not only for thn credit of the Empire, but in the very interest 
which they most Joudly profess, those who have an influence in both communities would 
be, indeed, well advised if they set their house in order by composing their bitter differ- 
ences. If they enable those of us who would gladly restore better and kindlier feelings 
with all sections of Indian thought to put forward a case which would have some element 
of plausibility for that acceleration of the statutory date, they would do a great service 
to that cause in which they vehemently believe and they would at the same time render 
it easier for those of us who in this country and in India have responsibility to restore a 
kindlier and friendlier basis to our mutual relations. 

The Marquess of READING : My Lords, I trust that it may not be thought inoppor- 
tune that I should at the present moment, occupying as I do a position of greater freedom 
and less responsibility with regard to India, make some observations, although they will 
necessarily be brief especially after the speech of my noble friend the Secretary of State 
and the very exhaustive examination that he has made into the causes, in particular, of 
the Hindu-Muslim disturbances. I should have troubled you but for a moment or two 
had it not been that I was deeply concerned at noting that there was a disposition in a 
quarter from which I least expected it to attribute favouritism on the part of British 
officialism, as the phrase was. 

Lord OLIVIER : My Lords, if the noble Marquess is going into that point I think, 
if your Lordships will allow me, I had better reply at once to the question raised by the 
noble Earl. I am in a position of some difficulty because the noble Earl referred to some- 
thing which was written in " The Times " and 1 have not with me the extracts from 
" The Times " to which he referred. But the noble Earl stated, and I gather that the 
noble Marquess was also taking the same view, that I had imputed to the Government 
of India that it had exercised favouritism in its dealings as between Muslims and Hindus. 
I have made no such suggestion and I entirely disclaim any feeling or belief to that effect. 
I am perfectly confident that every official has set himself and every Government of India 
had deliberately and of set policy set itself to deal fairly as between those two communities. 
1 make no such charge and it never entered my mind to make such a charge. 

Having said that much, I am rather under the obligation of dealing, and I hope 
very slightly, with what I actually did say. May I say that I may perhaps have used 
words which, had I had an opportunity of revising the proof of my letter, I might have 
modified slightly. But what I did say and it is based upon what I have beard from a 
great many Englishman who have served in India and from a great many Indians who have 
a very good reputation in India was that there ii an official basis in favour of the 


Mabomedan commnnity. I did not in the slightest degree mean that there was a basi 
which was exhibited in the action of the Government of the country. What I meant 
and this is more or less an impression which I have received, as I eay, from what 
Englishmen have told me and what Idians have told me was that the British official 
classes, both civil and military, in India have a higher appreciation of the virtues of the 
Mahomedan section of the population than they gererally feel about the Hindus. I wrote 
a further letter to " The Times " in which I hope that I had made that clear. I think 
the grounds of sympathy are what I would call the martial and other virtues and many 
other grounds of sympathy. I do think it is a fair statement to make that predominantly 
Englishmen who serve in India have a higher appreciation of the Muslim community and 
think them more capable of dominion than they think the Hindus and especially the 
Bengalis are. That is what I meant by official bias. 

There is another thing to which I wish to refer. The noble Lord referred to the 
suggestion I do not know whether he imputed it to me that the Government of India 
bad followed out the policy of " Divide et I m per a." I do not make that suggestion at 
all ; but the feeling which I had encountered and which I had underlined in my mind in 
that letter was something of which 1 will give you an example. When the Hindu- 
Muslim pact was made it was a pact which strengthened the probability of an advance 
t owards Swaraj policy in India. A very large number of persons, officials and others in 
India, regard the advance towards the self-governing Swaraj policy as a movement deleteri- 
ous to British interests in India, and I Bay confidently that when the Hindu-Muslim pact 
broke up there was a considerable amount of satisfaction felt, and was expressed in what 
I may call the anti-Swaraj Press in India, that the pact bad broken up. I do not think 
It went further than that. I will not now go into the question of these faction lights, 
but there was a distinct satisfaction on the part of those persons both in this country 
and in India who were opposed to the Nationalist movement that the pact had broken up 
and that there should be polilical dissensions among those affected. I will not carry it 
further than that. 

The Marquess of READING : I am sure your Lordships will have heard with pleasure 
and with some satisfaction the disclaimer on the part of the noble Lord of imputing 
anything in the nature of favouritism or of official bias for the Mahomedan interest or 
element in India. For my part, as I am sure is the case with all your Lordships, whatever 
is said by the noble Lord as to his intention carries conviction beyond all question, and 
1 do not pause for a moment to discuss what was in his mind inasmuch as he has tould us 
and that disposes of the matter beyond all arguments. I am now only concerned with 
what the noble Lord said, not what he intended, and not for the purpose of striving to 
cast the faintest doubt upon the noble Lord's meaning as intended by him but in order 
that I may refute a statement in writing which appeared in a letter in " The Times " 
subscribed by one who had held the position of Secretary of State for India and whose 
words, therefore, carry great weight in India notwithstanding that he is not now in office. 

British Official Bias. 

If your Lordships will permit me, I will read hia words in order that I may offer to 
your Lordships a few observations which I think it necessary to make and which, indeed, 
I hope may be transmitted to India in order that I might clear to India may own views. 
This is the noble Lord's statement : 

" But there are other causes of the increasing faction fighting. No one with any 
close acquaintance of Indian affairs will be prepared to deny that on the whole there is a 
predominant bias in British officialism in India in favour of the Moslem community, 
partly on the ground of closer sympathy, but more largely as a makeweight against Hindu 

Now I cannot but think that the words, as used, although not so intended, will be 
of assistance to those extremists in India who are desirous of instilling into the minds of 
both Hindus and Moslems that there is an undue bias in the mind of the British official 
and that, consequently, that quality of administration upon which in my opinion we 
rightly pride ourselves, and especially in relation to India that is of justice and fairness 
to all irrespective of distinction either of creed or race does not exist. 

I do feel that it becomes necessary that I should tell your Lordships chat this is a 
charge not in these words,* of course, not so moderately framed or so carefully qualified 
as the noble Lord's observation in the letter to " The Times "which is constantly made 
against the Government of India ; consequently, also, against the Government in tbia 
country. My noble friend in a few observations dealt with the charge and as he rightly said, 
iv rited but Blight notice which was that these communal disturbance! were instigated 


very often by British officials or for British interests. I do desire to say that throughout 
the whole period of the five years of my life in India I not only most carefully watched, 
bat sought every opportunity of ascertaining whether there was the slightest foundation 
for this charge and I can tell your Lordships that 1 never had even the merest breath of 
evidence to support it. I desire to make that statement because, 1 confess, when I read 
those words my mind rebelled at the notion that any one occupying so important a 
position should have used language which, as I thought then, was intended to convey the 
notion of some bias. 

I am not now, as I have already indicated, dealing with what the noble Lord intended 
to say. I pass that by, having finished with it. But I am dealing with the spirit that 
underlies it and with the sense in which it will be understood until this disclaimer of the 
noble Lord is read. 1 very much hope that it will be transmitted to India and read and 
understood by those who will not have lost time in taking advantage of an observation of 
this character. 

Lord Olivier : I do not think there was anything in what I wrote which could have 

Noble Lords : Order, order. 

Lord Olivier : May I give an explanation ? I do not think there was anything in 
what I wrote that could have suggested that I had the idea that any British official had 
ever instigated any riot. 

The Marquess of Heading : If I may say so I did not mean io suggest that. I quite 
agree. I do not think the words convey that, but they go so near it when it is said that 
on the whole there is a predominant bias in British officialism in India in favour of the 
Moslem community and when, at the same time, it is known that there is an extremist 
section in India which is very adept at reading meanings into language which we in 
England did not intend to convey and which, from this very language, will go on to 
argue I can almost see the articles penned upon it or hear the speeches which will be 
made in consequences of it "this proves what we have said namely, that there is an 
official bias." And, of course, it is not a very far step from that to instigating or at least 
conniving in some form or other at the Hindu-Moslem disturbances. Because of the life 
I have led for five years, and because of the knowledge I have that every word that is 
used by any one in authority in this country is liable sometimes to innocent misconcep- 
tion or misinterpretation unfortunately also, sometimes, to deliberate mieconception 
and misinterpretation I have been anxious that we should have made quite plain in 
your Lordships 1 House what was intended by the noble Lord himself, and what he meant 
to convey by the language that he used. 

I also desired, speaking as one who was the head of the Government of India during 
five years, to give my testimony in order that I might refute any such suggestion or 
insinuation from any quarter and to assertas I do beyond all possibility of refutation 
and with every challenge that I will take any document and any evidence that may be 
brought to me upon this charge if it were still in my power to examine it that 1 am 
quite confident there would be no truth in the statement. May I say not in reference 
to the noble Lord, who has told us what he meant, but in reference to the charges or 
suggestions which are so rife in India that I doubt very much whether you who are 
listening to this debate realise to the full how insidious these suggestions are. The mind 
of the Oriental is very subtle. He is not accustomed to put into plain, precise language 
exactly what he means and to mean nothing more. He is rather in the habit of finding 
meanings which may or may not have been intended, but which would baffle perhaps any 
one of us. Therefore I have thought that it was desirable to dea with a matter which 
affected British rule in India so seriously. 

Communal Societies Which Promote Differences. 

I do not for a moment intend to traverse over the same ground as my noble and learned 
friend, who has done it so exhaustively and so much better than we could do it. I am glad 
that I shall have the opportunity of studying it hereafter and understanding the causes of 
the present Hindu-Moslem disturbances. I 1 were to add anything, it would merely be 
to say, what perhaps is already implied in some part of his observation on the later period, 
that the growth of Hindu societies and Mahomedan societies has tended to promote these 
disturbances and to intensify them. As I speak I recall a passage which 1 read in some 
observations of my noble friend Lord Smha, who speaks with special knowledge on this 
subject and who is himself inclined to attribute much of the present tension to the 
foundation on those societies. I will not go into detail with regard to them ; it would 
take so long. Sufficient be it to say and it is all I shall say on the subject that there 
Are leaders of politic**! thought among Hindus who are leaders of the Hindu societio 


and there are leaders of Mahomedan political thought who are leaders of the Mahomedan 
societies. The result is that yon have societies formed with the avowed object of increasing 
the strength, influence and authority of a particular religion. The adherents of that 
religion become members of those societies for the very purpose, as I have said, of aug- 
menting the power of their creed. 

1 do not wish to travel any further into this subject, save that I would ask if any one, 
not here but in India, still thinks that British officialism or officials are interested in 
fostering these Hindu- Muslim disturbances. I would like to ask, of what advantage it 
is to the British Government, or to the Government of India, or to the civil servant, or to 
the military officers who have perhaps to take part in these disturbances f I may deal 
with the civil servant in a word. His duty is to preserve peace. His objective is that 
he may have a clean sheet to band to his Government. His main desire is to avoid 
trouble, and necessarily so. He is there for the purpose of preserving order and of doing 
all that he can tor peaceful administration. Bo far as he is concerned, if there is any 
trouble it means not only grave responsibility for him if the conditions become serious, 
bnt it means endless agitation and excitement inasmuch as he may not be even quite sure 
that in the end he will emerge successfully from the difficulties stupendous difficulties 
sometimes that he has had to encounter. 

Of the military officer I suppose there is no greater truth than to say that he detests 
having to intervene in civil disturbances. He does it because it is his duty. He is called 
upon to perform it, he takes his part and he stnves to do it as well as he can. The 
one indisputable feature that 1 have found during my time in India was that the military 
officers exercised this very unpleasant duty when called upon with the greatest restraint, 
and only took steps by virtue ot the position they occupied when it was apparent there 
was no other couise open if peace was to be preset ved or a disturbance was to be set at 
rest. The militajy officer has an additional anxiety about which I need not trouble to 
say much in debate before your Lordships, anxiety as to what is to happen if he has taken 
a step which might have involved loss of life. He has to trust, and rightly trust to the 
authorities at the head of the Government to see that when he does his duty he is also 
properly protected from all responsibility that may hereafter ensue. 

I need not take up your Lordship's time with references to the position of the Govern- 
ment of India. I speak there with knowledge, inasmuch as 1 think I may say I was 
familiar with all that happened in the Government of India of any importance. I pass 
from the reference merely with the observation that never during the whole of the time 
that I was entrusted with the responsibilities of India have I keen a charge that was even 
worth examining in relation to officials of the Government of India or of the provinces, 
of having done anything which was uniair, or of having shown a bias either to the one 
creed or the other, or of having taken any step which could by the greatest stretch of 
imagination be debciibed as conniving at or wilfully shutting their eyes to any distur- 
bances which were about to be created. 1 hope your Lordships will forgive me for having 
taken up your time on this subject. It may be perhaps that I feel more strongly on it 
than you would understand for the reason that 1 know how serious is an insinuation or 
suggestion of this kind when it travels about amongst ignorant people m India in the 
Tillages, in the mofussil as it called and in various districts where there is need of spread* 
ing the light. 

The Late Inspector Handy side. 

I am not inclined to travel over the ground covered either by the speech of Lord 
Olivier or the speech of the Secretary of State, but I would like to make a few observations 
upon the general political situation. May I , before I do that, take the opportunity that 
presents itself to me of a reference to cue of the most gallant men I have ever met in my 
life? Your Lordships a:e aware that unfortunately some months ago Inspector 
Eandyside, of the North- West Frontire, lost his lite in one of the many encounters 
that he bad with tribal raiders. It was not more than a few days before I left India 
that I went to Peshawar and the North-West Frontire for a last visit. On that occasion 
1 met Inspector Handyside. I must not detain you with a recital of his various exploits, 
but he was a most marvellous man whose courage, resourcefulness, magnanimity and 
nighmindedness were loved and admired throughout the North-West Frontier and by the 
tribes against whom he had to act almost I was going to say as much as by the tribes 
with whom he bad to act. 

I ventured to say to him, knowing his history, that it was time that he gave up 
going out himself. He was then at the head of the Frontier Constabulary. 1 suggested that 
he should content himself with giving directions, and that he should not run enough risks 
Ja bit life, His answer was : " Well, I do not think 1 could ever refrain from going if 


the opportunity came- 11 I regret to say it was not many dayi after that that he met hli 
death in one of these raids. I was glad to read the observations made by the Under-Secre- 
tary of State in another place, and I oonld not resist the opportunity of paying my own 
testimony to one for whom I, in conjunction with all those who oame in contact with him 
on the North- West Frontier of India, had such great admiration, 

The General Situation. 

On the general situation I desire to make but very few observations. I have been 
tqinking as I sat and listened to the speedh of my noble friend that it is not uninteresting 
to consider how the experiment that was made experiment as it was called in Parlia- 
ment in 1919, and which began to take effebt in 1921 when the reforms were first 
inaugurated in the India, have stood the test of time, It is far too late, and I have aldeady 
occupied too much time, to discuss this question at any length, but I desire to state to 
your Lordships that when I went to India to 1921, not, I confess, having made myself 
thoroughly acquainted with the details of the Government of India Act, 1919, before 
those duties devolved upon me, I was not too sure that this new system of Government 
would be capable of working. I was charged with the special mandate of setting it on 
its feet, of piloting it, so far as I could and helping it on its way. That was part of my 
instructions. I have beed through many anxious times in connection with the reforms. 

I have had at times to use the emergency powers which were vested in me by 
Parliament as Viceroy and Governor-General. I took the view then, from all that I had 
read and from all that I knew, that these were powers that were given, not for the purpose 
of being looked at, but in order that they might be used if the emergencies occurred ; 
and, when the emergencies occurred, I felt bound, in certain cases only, to use them. 
There were conflicts between the Legislative Assembly and myself, by virtue of the position 
that I occupied, but really th*y were infrequent conflicts and I do not pause to discuss 
them any further. Apart from thosf conflicts the Legislative Assembly and the Central 
Legislature have done a considerable amount of very useful work, Looking back upon it 
and remembering, as I am sure many of your Lordships do, statements that have been 
made in the past by Secretaries of State of the different Parties who have addressed yon 
upon affairs in India, there is every reason, sy far as we can judge from the evidence 
at dresent before us and that collected during these five years, for satisfaction with the 
momentous step which was teken to initiate a new era of relations between the Govern- 
ment and India. 

British desire for Indian Goodwill. 

It is too early to say more, and all that I desire to impress upon your Lordships ii 
that, speaking from my own poine of view, as from the observation that I have been able 
to give and as the result of my own experience in India, I have returned to this country 
with a greater faith in the value of those reforms and their practicability than I had 
when I left this country for India. I have learnt to set greater value upon them, and 
let me add that, in the difficulties that they have had to encounter, the cause has largely 
been suspicion and distrust of the ultimate intentions of the British Government and of 
the Government of India. 1 believe that the time is now fast approaching, if it has not 
already been reached, when India will recognise that we do intend to carry out the 
promises made in that Bill in the spirit and in the letter, that they will be generously 
interpreted, as they were in their inception generousty conceived, and that all that is 
asked in this country and surely it is worth India's whiie to ponder it and give effect 
to it is that there should be a response from India which will show that India has at 
last appreciated the value and the benefit of the reforms that were instituted under thii 
Act aud thas it is for her to take take the action and to manifest the spirit that are 
necessary to enable her to gor further forward and realise in the future the ultimate aim 
that she has in store and that is promised her and to continue along the path that is 
mapped out. I believe I may perhaps be speaking a little rashly, but I am prepared to 
take the risk that in the end, if India will only devote herself to show her goodwill, 
she will attain the position that she desires, she will become a full partner in the British 
Empire, she will attain her responsible Government and she will be able to work with 
the British Government and, I trust, with all the British Empire for the happiness and 
contentment of her people. 

The Judicial Committee Bill 


The following is an account of the Debate on the Second Reading of 
the Bill in the House of Commons on the 1st. December 1926. The debate 
in the Lords took place on the 8th June 1926 and is given in Vol. I. p. 115. 
In the Commons the Bill was however withdrawn, to be introduced again, 
there being no time for the Government to pilot it in the current session of 
the Parliament} in view of the controversial issues raised by the members of 
the Labour Party. It will be seen from the report of the debate as given 
below that the proposal was severely criticised on various grounds. The 
first ground of objection taken was that, while the Government had backed 
out of their promise to force mine-owners to pay a living wages to miners, 
they were now asking Parliament to pay 4,000 to two Judges, one half 
of it to come from India. The Labour members asked why the law of supply 
and demand, which was stated to govern the fixation of wages to workers, 
should not be applied to the Judges' salary when efficient lawyers cound be 
had for an amount less than that mentioned in the Bill. The second point 
urged was that when the Imperial Conference had specifically stated that 
questions affecting judicial appeals should be determined only in accordance 
with the wishes of the Dominions, it was premature to discuss the present 
Bill, because in tne first place, India might decide to revise the present 
procedure in regard to appeals and in the second place, the work of the 
Privy Council might be shortened if Canada or other Dominions should pro- 
vide themselves with Courts of their own beyond which appeals would not 
be allowed. The Attorney General, the Secretary of the Treasury and the 
Under-Seoretary of State for India spoke in different voices and would not 
tell the House clearly whether pensions were intended to be given, what 
would be done in the eventuality of India refusing to contribute her portion 
and what necessity there was to pay 1,000 to Judges who, according to the 
Attorney-General, would accept 2,000 if the whole circumstances were 
explained to them. 

The Debate. 

Tho Attorney-General (Sir Douglas HOGG): 1 beg to move, "That the Bill be now 
read a Second Time. " 

The pnrpoee of this Bill is to provide for the appointment of two Judges with English 
experience to sit on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and to assist in the 
hearing of Indian appeals. As the House knows, the ultimate Court of Appeal for 
England, Scotland and Northern Ireland is the House of Lords, and for all the other 
parts of the Empire the Privy Council. In the Privy Council, the business has increased 
enormously during recent years. In the case of Indian appeals in particular, whereas, 
for the five years ending, I think in 1910, there were about 52 appeals from India, 
for the last five years, the number was 91, so that they have very nearly doubled. 
In addition to that, tbere has been a very great increase in the number of appeals 
coming from our various colonies and His Majesty's Dominions overseas. The result 
is that it is practically necessary now for the Privy Council to sit in two divisions, 
pne of which is occupied with the hearing of Indian appeals and the other with the 

t fttfC. f *6] MR. HOGG'S SPEECH 137 

hearing of Appeals from other placet within its jurisdiction, In order to oope with 
the work we have the Lord Chancellor and six Law Lords, and we have the assistance 
of ex-Lord Chancellors, although at the moment there is only one available, Lord 
Haldane. Lord Buckmaster is suffering, unfortunately, from serious illness. Lord 
Finlay is largely occupied in assisting the International tribunal at The Hague, and 
Lord Haidane is left to do the work which is available for ex-Lord Chancellors. 
There are, in addition, in the Privy Oouncil two other paid members, appointed 
under the Act of 1833. Retired Indian Judges are allowed to sit on the Privy Council 
at a salary which is really only travelling expenses, 400 a year. One of these two, 
Byed Ameer Ali, has sat for nearly 20 years and his health will not premit him as a 
rule to attend. 

We have been volunteered assistance from retired Lord Justices and other persons who 
are qualified, such as Lord Parmoor, Lord Phillimore, Lord Warwick and Lord Darling, 
but even with that voluntary assistance, the House will see that, when we have to provide 
for five persons to be sitting in the House of Lords, five more in the first division of the 
Privy Council, and six to make up another Court which is habitually necessary now 
for Indian appeals, that it is not possible to find the necessary number in order that the 
Courts may be maintained . The House, I am sure, will agree that the Privy Council is a 
most valuable link of the Empire, and that while we have that Court it is of the first im- 
portance to this country, as well as to the Dominions, that the personnel of the Court should 
be such as to command the respect of all those whose appeals may come before it. That 
being the state of affairs, the Secretary of State for India and the Lord Chancellor, with 
the assistance of the late Viceroy, Lard Reading discussed last year what was to be done 
to provide fresh assistance for the hearing of Indian appeals, and the plan they agreed 
upon was that there should be two persons appointed to sit in the Privy Oouncil with 
Indian judicial or legal experience, and that those persons should each receive a salary of 
4,000 a year, provided as to one-half by the English Exchequer, and as to the other 
half by the Indian Exchequer. Unfortunately, the Indian Legislature did not accept the 
proposal, although we have information that leads us to hope that that decision is not a 
final one. Meanwhile the position is that those appeals have to be heard, the Court has 
to be manned, and the plan which has recommended itself to the Government is to go 
forward with the payment of the salary which the English Exchequer was expected to 
provide, so that no extra cost will fall on this country, leaving it open to the Indian 
Legislature to agree, if they think fit, to pay their half later on. It is in order to 
achieve this that this Bill is being moved ; and it provides for the appointment of these 
two extra Judges with Indian experience to the Privy Oouncil at a salary of 2,000 a 
year each. ^^^^^^^^^ 

Miss Wilkinson : Can the right hon. Gentleman ^S^^fi^^/J^qB>pf the 
Indian Legislature to the appointment of these two Judg 
or that they were unnecessary f 

The Attorney-General : Their objection was on gen 
think there was any suggestion that the two iuda 
Indian appeals were beard in the Privy Council. In i 
discussed, the strongest possible view in favour of t 
who hold different political views from the Governmen 
supporter indeed of the Measure. I commend the\ 
belief that we shall do something to remedy what is a 
desire that appeals to be heard by the Privy Council 
adequate in numbers and experience to deal expeditk 
great issues they have to determine. 

Mr. Tinker : What will happen if the Indian Legislature^ 

The Attorney -General : The persons appointed will have 
of 2,000. That 1 anticipate they will be willing to do in the circumstances. 

Miss Wilkinson : If the two persons appointed are willing to serve for 2,000, was 
it not rather unnecessary to offer the larger salary in the first instance ? 

The Attorney-General : It will probably be possibly to find people who may be 
willing to accept a salary of 2,000 a year with a prospect of getting 2,000 more, 
whereas if you make the maximum 2,000 yon would not, I think, get people of the 
right age and experience to undertake a task of this kind. We are not making these 
appointments as a mere retiring pension for judges who have served their full time in 
India. If that was so, it would be quite possible to get people to serve at a much lower 
salary, but there is a provision in the Bill that the persons appointed shall retire at the 
age of 72, and it is our intention to appoint people who are in the prime of their judicial 
faculties to these appointments. 



Sir Henry SLESSER : I haye consulted my noble Friend, Lord Haldane, on thii 
matter, and he is fully satisfied from his great experience of the work of the Privy 
Council that the Bill is absolutely necessary. The Judicial Committee of the Privy 
Council is, perhaps, the greatest tribunal in the Empire, Appeals come to it from every 
country, involving every kind of question from demarcation to the proprietorship of 
idols, and it is a tribunal which cannot be too efficiently well staffed. In 
the past, as the Attorney-General has said, the . staffing of the Judicial Committee wai 
largely dependent of the number of ex-Lord Chancellors who happened to be available 
for the purpose, and, incidentally, let me say what I have always wished to say, that 
when people accuse ex-Lord Chancellors of doing no woik and receiving pensions, there 
are no persons connected with the Judiciary who do more unpaid work on the Privy 
Council than those persons who have been Lord Chancellors. 

At the moment, with the exception of Lord Haldane, the whole of this valuable 
source of judicial power is lacking, and there is no doubt that appeals are being held up 
and justice, which is urgently required, is delayed because of a want of an adequate staff 
in the Privy Council. No one having regard to the general salaries which are paid to 
the Judiciary will say that these particular gentlemen are being over-paid. Compare it 
with the salaries received by Masters of the Supreme Court, and Country Court Judges. 
When you propose that members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council shall 
receive 2,000 a year as members of this Supreme Court of Appeal in the Empire, it 
cannot be said to be an excessive payment. I feel that a case has been made out for the 
Bill, and 1 hope the House will pass it and the necessary Money Resolution so as to 
enable the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to be properly staffed. 

Mr. Hore-BELlSHA : I desire to ask one question, and I hope my opportunity of 
receiving a reply from the Attorney-General has not passsd. I desire to inquire, whether 
a decision of the Imperial Conference has been taken into account in relation to this Bill. 
On page 19 of the Summary of Proceedings, I find the following : 

' Another matter which we discussed, in which the general constitutional principle 
was raised, concerned the advantages governing appeals from judgments in the Dominions 
to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. From these discussions it become clear 
that it was no part of the policy of His Majesty's Government in Great Britain that 
questions affecting judicial appeals should be determined otherwise than in accordance with 
the wishes of the part of the Empire primarily affected. It was, however, generally recog- 
nised, that where changes of the existing system were proposed, which while primarily 
affecting one part raised issues in which other parts were also concerned, such changes 
ought to be carried out after consultation and discussion. 1 * 

The Attorney-General has informed us that certain political objections have been 
raised in India, and that there may be a wish to revise the present procedure in regard 
to appeals to the Privy Council. It may be that in the near future there will be some 
reduction in the woik of the Judicial Committee. Canada may desire no longer to 
submit her cases to this great Tribunal, and, in that case, there would not be the same 
necessity to increase the personnel, with the assistance of the taxpayers' money. And 
there may be other parts of the Dominions who may not desire to avail themselves of 
the present opportunities of coming to London. If I am right, is not this Bill a little 
premature, and could not its passage be delayed in order that the wishes of the Dominions 
may become more clearly expressed in regard to their future intentions ? I hope the 
Attorney-General will be able to inform me whether the discussions at the Imperial 
Conference have been taken into account before the presentation of this Bill. 

The Labour Protest. 

Mr. KIRKWOOD : I had no intention of taking part in this Debate, but I want to 
enter my emphatic protest, as a member of the working class and as a Socialist, that a 
member of our Front Bench should deliberately go out of his way to give his blessing 
to a proposal under which a man gets 4,000 a year. I think that is going a wee bit 
too far. We have just passed through one of the most awful and gigantic struggles on 
behalf of the working classes to maintain a living wages, or anything like the semblance 
of a living wages, and this same Government, this same Front Bench, this same team, 
that are asking us to agree to give one man 4,000 a year 

Sir H. Slesser : 2,000. 

Mr. Kiikwood : You can say what you like. I say 4,000 a year ; and "facts 
are chicle that winna ding and canna be disputed. 1 * It is 4,000 a year. Am I right or 
wrong ? 

The Attorney-General : This House is being asked to vote 2,000, 


Mr. Kirkwood : Yes, but I am astonished at even the Attorney-General, because he 
knows perfectly well the Official Report will prove it to-morrow that he said 2,000 
from the British Exchequer and 2,000 from the Indian Exchequer. If that is not 
4,000, I do not know what it is. There are the same men, the Prime Minister included, 
who are backing 4,000 for one man, as much wages as they are prepared to pay 
to 2,000 colliers ; and we are expected to back a Bill like that, and our Front 
Bench will give its blessing to it after the titanic struggle that the miners have 
made. If ever there was class legislation, this is it. The Prime Minister says that there 
is no such thing as a class struggle in society. Here he is to-day backing one man for 
9 4,000. Is not that a terrible difference ? Is not that putting class against classone 
man of the lawyer class, which costs this country every year over 100,000,000 to keep 
them going 100,000,000, and they do not produce a single iota of the necessaries of life, 
but simply live on the flesh and blood of those who do produce ? Remember this, that all 
the good things, the good clothes that you wear, the good fruit that you eat and the good 
houses that you live in, are produced by labour, and whoever enjoys those good things 
without working for them is stealing the bread of the woiker. 

This is one of the reasons why this country cannot afford to give the miners and the 
workers in general a living wages. It is because there are certain individuals, under this 
system of ours, who take from it 1,000 a year. How long is it going to last? Are the 
Labour benches going to back a system that gives 4,000 a year to certain individuals 
who never have had to rough it, who never knew what it was to want their breakfast, 
who never knew what it was to be aching, as do the children in the slums, in- 
asmuch as they do not know what it is to have a night's sleep because of the 
verminous conditions under which they live? Here is a body of men, Judges, who 
have been reared in the lap of luxury, and the very best that Britain can give them, 
and then when they come to 50 or 60 years of age they are to get this comfortable 
job. Why should they get it ? What is it that these Judges have which is superior 
over me ? [ Hon. Members : * Brains f " ] Hon. Members say " Brains." I am pre- 
pared to stand any test, and if I am not mentally and physically as well equipped as 
any man in this House, then I do not know what it means. If any of them can prove 
that they have rendered their country better service than I have done, I want to see them. 
This is just what is to be expected rich men living in the lay of luxury when it cornea 
to one of their own class. I want the Prime Minister to think about this, because even 
yet I have not given him up. You get the Prime Minister of this country, after negotiat- 
ing with my class, coming in direct contact with Cook and Herbert Smith and other 
members of my class, and seeing those men who, he knows, are just as capable whether 
he differs from them in his point of view or not it does not matter just as capable of 
stating their case, as competent in every way as any Judge, including Lord Haldane or 
all the Haldanes that ever were haldaned. 

There is no Judge, there is no lawyer, there is no man in this country who has a 
right to 4,000 a year, while the miners and the engineers are paid the wages that they 
receive. Think of my own trade ; think of the engineers. I know that my Mlow- 
engineers are working for 2 15s. a week. It is a scandal, and there never was a Judge, 
there never was a Prime Minister, including the Present Prime Minister able to give 
a better account of himself or to give better service to the country than the skilled 
engineer, and yet the skilled engineer has to give his all for 2 15s. a week. Do you 
think that we are going calmly to sit here and listen even to our own Front Bench ? 
It is enough to make the very stones cry out, to think that they would tell us that this 
4,000 a year should be paid. It all turns on this, that you have on the one hand people 
with tens of thousands of pounds, taking tern of thousands of pounds ; you have gentle- 
men on the other side of the House who are in the habit of drawing tens of thousands of 
pounds. [Hon. Members : " No."] They deny it. We had an example of that in Lord 
Vestey, who left this country in order to escape taxation. 

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Captain Fitz Boy) : The hon. Member is now travelling rather 
wide of the subject before the House. 

Mr. Kirk wood : I am keeping to the point, though I know quite well that I am not 
going on orthodox lines. But I am speaking the truth, and " truth catteth keener than 
a two-edged sword. 1 ' My folk outside to-day, the working classes of this country, are 
thinking about the idea of one man by Act of Parliament getting 4,000 a year. We have 
been told that it would not ^o for Parliament to interfere with the wages of the working 
classes, and that we must have freedom. Where is the freedom ? 

18 0, Freedom, what things are done in thy name J " 

Here is Parliament, here are the Tory party and the Prime Minister being part and 
ptioel to a special Bill for the regulation of waget. [Bon. Members; "How about your 


own Front Bench ?"*] I can deal with my own Front Bench, and it can deal with me 
if it likes. Here yon have the Government dealing with the wages of a certain class. They 
cannot deal with the wages of the working classes ; they cannot be big enough. 1 thought 
the Prime Minister was big enough, when he said that he would cleave his way, if neces- 
sary, through private interests, in order to see that the working classes of this country got a 
fair deal. He failed, and failed miserably. He cannot bring in an Act of Parliament to 
ensure that the most valuable asset that the country has got, the working classes, g-.t a 
comfortable living, but he is part and parcel to certain individuals getting 4,000 a year. 
I protest most; emphatically, because, if the engineers are worth only 2 15s. a week, and 
the miners worth only the miserable pittance that this Government is responsible for 
forcing them to accept, then I say that there is no one in the British Empire who is worth 
4,000 a year. The Government should think shame of themselves. If they were half 
human they would never bring forward a Measure like this. 

Mr. N. MACLEAN : I want also to protest against a Money Resolution being 
brought in to supplement a Bill of this kind. The Government are constantly telling the 
people of this country, and particularly Labour Members and their supporters outside 
the House, that all remuneration amongst the working classes, for anything which they 
can do, must be based upon economic laws, that the economic laws which operate in this 
country determine and fix the wages of the workers. The engineers' wages, which are 
undoubtedly very low in consideration of the work that they perform, are supposed to be 
fixed by the law of supply and demand. During the whole of the miners* dispute the 
country was told by the Press, by the Prime Minister and by those who sit beside or 
behind him, that the miners must be prepared to accept what they could get because of 
economic laws. We were told that we could not fight against economic laws, and that the 
miners' wages must be determined by economic laws. 

What did that mean ? The Prime Minister himself and others, speaking on his 
behalf, admitted that he could not, and be would not, by Act of Parliament fix the wages 
which the miners were to receive, that there was to be no legal fixing of wages for the 
miners. Yet the Government brings in a Bill and a Money Resolution fixing the wages 
of two new Judges. It is not a question of increasing the wages of existing Judged, but 
the giving of powers to appoint two additional Judges, and they are to receive from this 
country 2,000 a year, with the right to have that 2,000 supplemented by 2,000 from 
the Indian Exchequer. I ask the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General why they do 
not apply their own logic and argument when they are trying to meet the claims of miners 
and other working people. 

Mr. Grotrian : Can you get Judges for less ? 

Mr. Maclean : You lock out the miners when you want them for less ; lock out the 
Judges and you will soon get them for very much less. 

Mr. Grotrian : It is a question of supply and demand. You cannot get them. 

Mr. Maclean : There are scores of lawyers in London with very few briefs and very 
little employment who would take a job of this kind for very much less than 2,000 a year 
and who would possibly do the work much better than the men you are about to appoint. 

Mr. Grotrian : They have no knowledge of Indian Law. 

Mr. Maclean : We do not require a knowledge of Indian law or any other law to 
realise that the lawyer's trade union is the strongest trade union in the country. We find 
the lawyers always on the job when there is some pecuniary advantage to be gained. 
We have only to look around these benches when a question of this kind is being dis- 
cussed and we find on the other side practically all its supporters are lawyers. [Hon. 
Members : " No I"] Hon. Members have only to look around them. Let them go down 
to the smokeroom ana they will see more. If we divide, let them examine the Division list 
and see the number of lawyers who have come together in support of this proposal. 
That is my proof. Do hon. Members require any additional proof of my statement ? They 
know it to be true, and all their interruptions, sneers and laughter go for nothing. Of 
course, they have a majority and that is why they can laugh, but a few more Hulls will 
put them where we are now, and then we shall see who will laugh. 

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Mr. James Hope) : That is a kind of prophecy, and does not 
teem relevant to the subject under discussion. 

Mr. Maclean : It is true it is a prophecy, but this Bill deals with the future and I 
thought it might be in order to make a reference to the future of the Labour and Tory 
parties. 1 protest against the proposal which is contained in this Bill and in the Money 
Resolution which accompanies it. If this country cannot afford a living wages to those 
who produce wealth, it cannot afford high salaries to the individuals who are to 
\x appointed under this Bill, I hope the matter will be prened to ft Diviiion, became tbi 


Division List, when published in the Official Report to-morrow, will be very interesting. 
I, for one, will go into the Lobby gladly against this proposal. I shall vote with a very 
light heart against a proposal to give 4,000 a year to two lawyers, when we can 
get scores of men to do the work at lower rates if we leave it to the operation of the econo- 
mic law and carry out the Prime Minister's pet theory. 

Miss WILKINSON : I think neither the Attorney-General nor the hon. and learned 
Member for South-West Hall (Mr. Grotrian) are to be congratulated on their logic in this 
matter. They have said, first of all, that it is absolutely necessary to fix a sum of not less 
than 4,000 a year and that otherwise, it will be impossible to get members of the legal 
profession of sufficient knowJedge and ability to do this extremely important work. Yet 
in the same speech the Attorney -General declared that when the Indian Legislature puts 
its foot down and says it is not going to pay 4,000 a year, we can find two gentlemen 
who, without the faintest demur, will come along and take exactly the same jobs at 
exactly half the rate. I cannot congratulate the lawyers on their consistency in this 
matter. One can only congratulate them on the way in which they stand up for their 
own trade union when rates of remuneration are under consideration. Far be it from me, 
as A trade unionist, to object to that, if it were not for the fact that we always find the 
members of the lawyers 1 trade union leading the opposition when it is a question of the 
trade union rights of the working class. It is just because they are the most virulent 
opponents of the trade union rights of other people that they must be prepared to accept 
considerable questioning when their own extraordinarily high rates of remuneration are 
under consideration. 

One congratulates them on having been able to induce in this country a sort of 
mystical appreciation of the legal profession. They are regarded as wonderful and even 
when as I understood the Attorney-General to admit one of them is 90 'years of age, 
there is no question of expressing anything but admiration for the marvellous brain 
which they can bring to bear on the problems placed before them. At any rate, the 
members of the legal profession are not subject to the risks which the members of the 
miners 1 and other trade unions have to undergo and they might be prepared to take less 
for working in such a protected trade. Those of us who have to stand the sneers which 
come from the other side when we are begging and asking for some merely decent minimum 
rate one shilling and one three-fourth pence an hour or something like that are expected 
to vote without demur for a proposal to give 4,000 a year to these, no doubt, estimable 
gentlemen. I think the hon, and learned Member for South-West Hull used an expression 
about the law of supply and demand. I ask the Prime Minister and the Attorney -General if 
they are prepared to put this proposal to the test of supply and demand and to advertise these 
positions among the legal profession. Is it suggested that there are no Indian members of 
the Bar qualified for these appointments ? 1 understand there is considerable unemploy- 
ment among Indian members of the Bar. Is it suggested that none of them would be 
willing to take this ]ob at a much lower figure than that now proposed ? The hon. and 
lea rned Member for South- West Hull will hardly say that their knowledge of Indian law 
is insufficient, since they are specialists in the subject. At the present time, when we 
are told we cannot pay a subsistence wages for work which we cannot do without, I hope 
we shall not have to pay thousands to people whose work we could do without, were it 
not for the legal fiction and the mystery which surrounds it. 

Mr. BUCHANAN : I think the proposal in this Measure cannot be iustified. It is 
sometimes argued against us that our own Front Bench is jast as bad as the Front Bench 
on the other side. I, at least, have a clear conscience in this matter, because when oar 
own party brought in a proposal to increase a salary from 2,000 to 6,000, I proposed 
it, and was practically alone in doing so. Therefore, I am carrying out quite logically 
the line which 1 took on this question towards my own colleagues when they were in 
office, and I cannot be accused of differentiating between one side and the other. The 
only argument for this proposal is that set up by the hon. and learned Member for South 
West Hull (Mr. Grotrian), that it is in accordance with the law of supply and demand. 
I remember as a pattern-maker during the War when, under the law of supply and 
demand, we could have demanded tremendous wages from the nation. So could the 
engineers at that time. We could have asked for, and I think we would have been given 
great concessions, but we were told and, possibly, it was right that we would be 
blackmailing the nation by taking advantage of a temporary shortage to insist on terms 
which the nation could not afford. It is admitted that since the War the men in the 
building trade have, in the common saying, " the ball at their feet/ 1 bat it bai been 
argued that the building trade were blackmailing the nation, and that no Motion of 


workers has a right to insist on terms from the nation which are outside the nation's 

Now we are told that the law of supply and demand which was rejected in the case 
of the engineers and the builders is to operate in the case of the Judges. Is there any 
difference in human nature between the engineer and the Judge ? The Attorney-General 
has said that the Indian Government bad to agree to guarantee 2,000 pound. They think it 
is an extortionate demand, but the British Government propose to take steps to compel the 
Indian Government to give terms which the Indian Government do not think they ought 
to pay. For such a proposal there cannot even be the ]uslification which exists for a 
Cabinet Minister's salary. There is this to be eaicl for the Cabinet Minister, that his job 
is precarious. Any election may end his term of office, but a Judge has a guarantee of 
full-time employment and full wages until be reaches the age of 7 2. There is also this 
important difference, that a Cabinet Minister has no provision made for his old age unless 
he is prepared to plead extreme poverty, but the Judge, whether poor or rich, has the 
guarantee of a handsome pension, and no deductions are made from his balary such as are 
necessary in regard to other classes of woikers. The Minister of Health in answer to a 
question recently told us that the nation could not increase the amount of the old age 
pension. We are told that 10s. a week is sufficient for the old people of the nation and is 
all we can afford ; but, by some miraculous process of reasoning, a Judge is said to be 
worthy of far more. A Judge has comparatively little responsibility. The responsibility 
of Judges is, in my opinion, largely overrated. So many people have little or no know- 
ledge of a Judge's work, that advantage is taken of that lack of knowledge in order to 
' boost " the position. At a time when we are asking the miners and others to live on com- 
paratively low wages, I submit that it would be criminal on the part of this House 
to agree to such an extravagant wages as this for these Judges. 

Question put, " That the Bill be now read a Second time." The House divided : 
Ayes, 230 ; Noes, 28. 

Report of Committee Discussion. 

The following is from the Hansard report : 

Considered in Committee under Standing Order 71 A. Mr> James Hope in the chair. 
Motion made t and Question proposed^ 

" That for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to amend the Law with 
respect to the constitution of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, it is expedient 
to charge on the Consolidated Fund the yearly salary of two thousand pounds to be paid 
under tl e said Act to each of the two persons to be appointed thereunder to be members 
of the said Judicial Committee." (King's Recommendation signified.) (Mr. McNeilL) 

Mr. MACLEAN : I do not think this matter ought to go through without some 
explanation from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Surely it is preposterous that 
we should be asked to vote 2,000 a year for two individuals, making 4,000 in all, 
without a word of explanation from him, and without some general statement as to the 
policy of the Government underlying its proposal. It is notorious that the Government 
come to this House with Financial Resolution?, and that when you, Mr. Chairman, or your 
colleague, puts the question from the Chair, the Financial Secretary or the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer gives a nod of the head, nnd on that it is expected that large sums of 
money are to be voted without explanation from those, responsible. It is about time the 
House took charge of affaire, and demanded fiom those who are looked upon as being in 
control of the finance of the country that they should make some definite statement as 
to the reasons for the payments they ask the House to make. I think the House has a 
right to know just exactly what is in the mind of the Financial Secretary, and I hope 
we are going to have some statement, particularly when we have reminded the Govern- 
ment that there are other people in this country who, in our opinion, are more deserving 
of this money, who are more deserving of payments from the State, and who are being 
treated as though they were the worst possible aliens we could have in the country. When 
they ask for living conditions their claim is rejected, but here we have a proposal to pay 
2,000 a year for year after year for two Judges. I am not going to protest against it at 
this stage, but I want to know what it means. 

There is another point 1 would like some explanation upon. It states in the Bill that in 
the event of death vacancy occurring, further appointments can be made to make up 
the number of Judges to two. It it quite a reasonable thing to assume that in thow 

1 010. f *0] MR. McNBILL'S SPEECH i 4 j 

The Chairman : The hon. Member oan discuss the amount to be paid, bat he appears 
now to be discussing provisions in the Bill* They can be discussed daring the Committee 
stage of the Bill, bat not on this Resolution. 

Mr. Maclean : The Financial Resolution reads : " That, for the purposes of any Act 
of the present Session to amend the Law with respect to the constitution of the 
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, it is expedient to charge on the Consolidated 
Fund the yearly salary of two thousand pounds to be paid under the said Act to each of 
tho two persons to be appointed thereunder to be members of the said Judicial Committee. 11 

Surely I would be in order in putting a question as to the implications which the 
appointment of these Judges, and their payment would bring upon this House ? 

The Chairman : I thought the hon. Member was discussing some provision in the Bill 
for further appointments on vacancies occuring. 

Mr. Maclean : No, my point is this, if these Judges retired would they retire upon a 
pension, and would it be necessary for a further financial resolution to be brought in in 
order to provide the additional sum that would be necessary for their pensions ? It is 
only right the House should know how for we may be pledged to payments to these 
individuals. It may be that certain individuals may be appointed who may have to 
retire through ill-health, and we may be paying pensions to ex-Judges and paying 2,000 
pound a year to the Judges filling the places they have vacated. 

The Government talk a great deal about the necessity for economy, how the country 
cannot afford this and cannot afford that, how old-age pensions cannot be increased, how 
housing subsidies have to be cut down, how health conditions are worsened, how payments 
to education authorities must be reducedin fact, on every occasion when we make 
requests for expenditure on thobe social services to be maintained at the standard at 
which it used to be maintained, we ar< told the country cannot afford it. When, how- 
ever, it is a question of finding money for Judges, finding money for individuals in this 
particular sheltered trade, they are not held up to ridicule and opprobium such as ordinary 
working men or women getting weekly wages in other sheltered trades have to encounter. 
When the case of those who are skilled in word-spinning and legal jugglery comes before this 
House, we are asked to believe that this is some wonderful and great profession which will 
attract men to it only if they get the highest possible standard of living that our civilisation 
can offer. If this is the standard of living to which Judges are entitled, I submit the standard 
of living of every other individual in this country ought to be equal to that of the best 
Judge in the land ; and if this country cannot afford to give to the workers of this 
country, who produce the wealth, a standard of living higher and better than is found 
for them by the present Government, the House has no right to vote away 2,000 a 
year for new judges, with the* problamatical addition of another 2,000. It is time the 
House took possession of the financial situation. If we have not the money to provide 
the people with the conditions which our present progress in civilisation merits, and which 
the productive activity of this country entitle them to have, this country is too poor to 
afford 2,000 a year for two new Judges. 

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Ronald McNEILL) : The only reason 
I rise is that if I did not do so I might appear to be discourteous to the hon. Gentleman after 
the pointed appeal he made to me personally ; but really I do not think there is any 
occasion for me to discuss the matter, which has been fully dealt with already on the 
Second Beading of the Bill, a Debate which has just been brought to a cloae. Then my 
xight hon. Friend the Attorney-General dealt fully with all the merits of the case. The 
hon. Member spoke as though on matters of this sort the Treasury had a separate and 
distinct standard. The hon. Member must remember that these are proposals of the 
Government, that this is the policy of the Government, and a Measure of this sort would 
not have been brought before the House if all the financial aspects of it had not been 
already considered by the Treasury. When a member of the Government like my right 
hon. and learned Friend brings forward a Bill and a Rebolution of this sort is required, 
I think the House may take it for granted that there is no divergence of view between the 
Attorney -General and the Treasury on the point. 

Mr. Maclean : May I ask for an answer as to the point I pat regarding the possibi- 
lity of pensions having to be paid ? lu that case would the Government have to bring in 
another Money Resolution ? 

Mr. McNcill : If any question of pension for these Judges arises, of course provision 
would have to be made for it by the House, and in that case, no doubt, another Money 
Resolution would have to be brought forward. 

Miss WILKINSON : May I ask two further questions? The Attorney-General said 
the gentlemen who were going to have these posts would take them on the understanding 


that an extra 2,000 pound would probably be given in future by the Indian Legislature. 
Oan we have an undertaking from the Secretary to the Treasury, first, that no pressure, 
political or otherwise, will be brought to bear on the Indian legislature to provide this extra 
2,000 pounds for people whom, apparently, they do not want ; secondly, can we have an 
assurance that if the Indian Legislature persist in a refusal not to give this 2,000 pounds, 
he will not come to this House to make up the salary to 4,000 pounds the amount which 
h had laid down as the salary ? 

Mr. SULLIVAN : I want to ask the members of the Conservative party if this is what 
they preach at the election. Here the Government are making proposals for these 
appointments, and they imagine that we have no right to ask for an explanation to be 
given to the House. It may be that your Judges are worth 2,000 pounds a year, and that yon 
require two additional Judges, but what I want to know is that when you suggest that 
there is the possibility of a man of 72 years of Age getting 4,000 pounds a year you are doing 
something which you would be afraid to tell the electors of the country. I protest 
against this method of adding to the burdens of a nation, and I hope we shall take advant- 
age of this opportunity of driving the Government supporters into the Division Lobby in 
regard to this Vote. 

Captain W. BBNN : I feel'that the preservation of the right of appeal is a very 
important part of our Imperial relations. I think in this matter we have a right to 
complain of a lack of candour on the part of the Attorney -General. First of all we are told 
that only 2,000 pound was to be voted, and then he told us that another 2,000 pound was to 
be paid by the Indian Legislature. Now it appears that there is to be a pension attached 
to it. I think we should be told that this is not simply a Vote for 2,000 pound, but that 
there is a possibility of a further 2,000 pound if the Indian Legislature does not vote that 
amount, and besides this, there is the possibility of a pension. Some hon. Members on these 
benches who would not support a Motion for a reduction of this Vote feel that we should 
have had a little more candour from the Attorney-General on this question. Inasmuch as 
we are now dealing with the question whether the additional 2,000 pound is likely to be 
voted by the Indian Government, and whether we shall be asked to vote it in this House if 
the Indian Government refuses. I think some representative of the India Office; should be 
here to answer that question. I do not know whether the Under-Secretary of State for 
the Colonies represents the India Office on this matter. 

The Under Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs (Mr. Ormsby Gore) : No. 

Captain Benn : Then why is the Under-Secretary of State for India not present when 
this Money Resolution is being discussed ? How can the Attorney -General give us full 
information as to whether the Indian Legislature objects to paying this money or not. 
It is important that we should know these facts, and only one person can tell us and that 
i the representative of the India Office. I think we might have bad a little more candour 
about the full financial position, and we want more information about the intention of 
the Indian Legislature. 

The Attorney -General : Tba hon. and gallant Gentleman has charged me with a lack 
of candour, but I wonder whether he took the trouble to be present when I moved the 
Second Reading of the Bill and listened to what I said on that occasion. 

Captain Benn : As the Attorney-General is in the habit of making that kind of attack, 
I wish to say that I was present and I bad the inestimable privilege of hearing what he 
then Paid. 

The Attorney-General : In that cane the hon. and gallant Member's charge Is 
absolutely inexcusable, and, if he refers to the Official Report of our proceedings on that 
occasion, he will see that we asked the House to vote a Salary of 2,000 pound that the Indian 
Legislature had been asked to give an additional 2,000 pound, that last year the Indian 
Government did not agree, but that there is some hope that they may change their mind 
and do so later on. In view of the fact that the hon. and gallant Gentleman says he 
heard what I said, and has now been misrepresenting me, I say that his action is 
absolutely inexcusable. The only other accusation is that 1 did not tell the Committee 
that these Judges were to have pensions. The reason I did not tell the Committee that 
is that they are not to have a pension 

Mr. Thurtle : I beg to move, " That the Debate be now adjourned.' 1 I do so owing 
to lack of information in regard to this vote, and the absence of any representative of the 
India Office. 

The Chairman ; That is not quite the proper procedure. The hon. Member should 
move to report progress, 

Motion made, and Question put, " That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to 


International Labour Conference. 

[The Eighth and Ninth Sessions of the International Labour Conference 
were held at Geneva in May and Juae 1926. The following is a short report 
of Sir Atul Chatterjee, the Govt. of India Delegate to tho Conference, and 
was published in India in September 1926 in response to a suggestion made in 
the Legislative Assembly. The speeches delivered by the Indian Delegates 
on the occasion have been given in the 1st Volume of the Register p. 145.] 

The Eighth Session opened on Wednesday, the 26th May, 1926 and closed 
on Saturday, the 5th June. The Ninth (Maritime) Session opened on 
Monday, the 7th June and closed on Thursday, the 24th June. At the 
Eighth Session there were 14 and at the Ninth 17 plenary sittings. At 
each Session there were also numerous meetings of the Committees set up 
to deal with tho various items of business. 


Government Delegates. Sir Atul Chatterjee, K.C.I.E., High Com- 
missioner for India ; Sir Louis Kershaw, K.C.S.I., C.I.E.. Assistant Under 
Secretary of State, India Office. 

Adviser. Mr. R. N. Gilchrist, Labour Intelligence Officer, Bengal. 

Employers' Delegate. The Hon'ble Sir Arthur Froom, of Messrs. 
MacKinnon, Mackenzie & Co. 

Workers' Delegate. Mr. Lajpat Rai, M.L.A. 


Government Delegates. Sir Atul Chatterjee, K,C.LE., Sir Louis Kershaw, 
K.C.S.I., C.I.E. 

Advisers. Mr. R. N. Gilohrist. Mr. J. E. P. Curry, Shipping Master, 

Employers' Delegate. The Hon'ble Sir Arthur Froom. 

Adviser. Captain H. J. Rouse, Marine Superintendent, B. I. S. N. Co., 
Ltd., Calcutta. 

Workers 9 Delegate Mr. M. Daud, M.A., B.L,, M.L.C., General Secretary, 
Indian Seamen's Union, Calcutta. 

Adviser Mr. S. Moghal Jan, Chief Steward. 

Much interest was evinced at both Sessions of the Conference in 
the protests against the nomination of Sir Arthur Froom as the Indian 
Employers' delegate. This was the first occasion in the history of the Inter- 
national Labour Conference when the nomination of an Employers' delegate 
had been challenged. Moreover, printed documents in English and French 
setting forth in full the case of the protesting associations was extensively 
circulated among all Members and visitors to the meetings. 

At the Eighth Session protests were lodged by four bodies, the Karachi 
Buyers' & Shippers' Chamber, the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta, 


the Karachi Indian Merchants' Association, and the Burma Indian Chamber 
of Commerce. The same protests, together with one from the Indian 
Merchants' Chamber, Bombay, were made to the Ninth Session of the Con- 
ference. The protesting bodies were represented at Geneva by Mr. S. N. ^ 
Haji, who supported their case in person before the Credentials Committee 
of each Session. 

The CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE of the Eighth Session found that Mr. 
Narottam Morarjee had been offered by the Government of India the position 
of Employers' delegate to the Eighth Session and had for certain reasons 
declined the invitation. The Committee felt that it could only take into 
consideration this refusal and it could not enter into the reasons for it. Nor 
could it take into account the argument put forward by the protesting organi- 
sations that after Mr. Morarjee's refusal the Indian Government should 
have offered the position to another Indian, in view of the fact that no 
other candidate was proposed by the Chamber of Commerce which nominated 
Mr. Morarjee. The Credentials Committee noted that the principal ques- 
tion at issue (w*., whether Sir Arthur Froom had been recommended by 
the 'most representative organisation') was connected with the Ninth 
Session of the Conference and the recommendation that the Eighth Session 
should validate the nomination of Sir Arthur Froom could not prejudice the 
consideration of this principal question by the Ninth Session. 

When the subject came up before the plenary meeting of the Eighth 
Session, Mr. Lajpat Rai (the Indian Workers' delegate) said that he only 
wished to state that he did not accept the position taken by the Govern- 
ment delegate about the most representative character of the Organisations 
represented by Sir Arthur Froom. Sir Louis Kershaw also declined on that 
occasion to enter into the merits of the question but expressed his readiness 
to make it clear at the Ninth Session that Sir Arthur Froom had been 
nominated by the most representative organisations of employers in India. 
The proposal of the Credentials Committee to approve tho Credentials of 
the Employers' delegate of India was then adopted without any opposition at 
the Eighth Session. 

The protests came up in due course before the Credentials Committee 
of the Ninth Session of the Conference. The report of this Compmttee is 
self-explanatory and is repoduced in full below : / ' ' 

"Five Indian employers' organisations (l) the Buyers' and Shippers' 
Chamber of Karachi, ( 2 ) the Karachi Indian Memtoants' Association, ( 3) 
the Burma Indian Chamber of Commerce, TKangoon, ( 4 ) the Indian 
Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta, and ^ 6 ) the Indian Chamber of 
Commerce, Bombay, have addressed to t'he General Conference, which 
has transmitted them to the Credentials Committee, five objections to 
the Credentials of Sir Arthur Froor*/, appointed by the Government of 
India as Employers' Delegate fw that country. 

The Committee has carefullv examined the documents submitted to it, 
It has also heard the evidence of Sir Louis Kershaw, Indian Government 
Delegate, Sir Arthur , 'Froom, Indian Employers' Delegate, and Mr. S. N. 
Haji, the duly accredited representative to the Conference of the 
protesting organisations. 

From the documents* placed before it and tho oral explanations, the Com- 
mittee notes th<v following facts : 


The objections allege ( 1 ) that Sir Arthur Froom represents neither Indian 
interests nor Indian employers : ( 2 ) that the organisations which 
nominated Sir Arthur Froom are not the most representative organisa- 
tions of the employers of India. 

With regard to the first point, the Committee, whilst considering that the 
representation of a country at the General Conference should be a 
national one, has not been able to discuss the substance of the question 
nor to form an opinion upon a problem the solution of which undoubtedly 
rests with the Government of each of the Members. 

With regard to the second point, the Committee finds as follows : the 
Government of India, by a press communique dated 8 October 1925, 
invited the employers' organisations of India to nominate, before the 15th 
January 1926, a delegate for each of the two Sessions of the General 
Conference of the Representatives of the Members. 

Within the time limit thus fixed, two Chambers of Commerce, those of 
Bengal and Bombay (European Chambers), nominated Sir Arthur Froom, 
and two Indian Chambers of Commerce, that of Bombay and the 
Buyers' and Shippers' Chamber of Karachi, nominated Mr. Narottam 
Morarjee. After the expiration of the time limit, the three other 
Chambers of Commerce which have now lodged objection also supported 
the candidature of Mr. Narottam Morarjeo. The appointment of Sir 
Arthur Froom as Employers' Delegate was made by the Government of 
India during the month of March. The employers' organisations which 
have lodged objections, arid their representative Mr. Haji, have assured 
the Conference and the Credentials Committee that the Chambers of 
Commerce of Bengal and Bombay, which have nominated Sir Arthur 
Froom, were not the most representative of the Employers of India, 
On the contrary, the Delegate of the Government of India, Sir Louis 
Kershaw, has made a formal declaration to the Committee that these 
Chambers of Commerce for the purpose of this Conference were really 
the most representative of the employers of India. 

On the basis of the numerous documents submitted to the Committeei 
as well as on the ground of the oral explanations made to it, the Com- 
mittee has nevertheless not been able to arrive at the conclusion, 
as requested by Mr. S. N. Haji on behalf of the objecting organisations! 
that the Chambers of Commerce which nominated Sir Arthur Froora 
were not the most representative of the employers of India. 
In these conditions, the Committee deems it expedient that the General 
Conference should proceed to validate the credentials of Sir Arthur 

On this Report of the Credentials Committee being taken into con- 
sideration at the plenary sitting of the Session, Mr. Daud ( the Indian 
Workers 1 delegate ), while admitting that Sir Arthur Froom had been 
selected by the most representative Chambers of Bengal and Bombay 
consisting of European Employers, differed from the view that these Cham- 
bers were the most representative Employers' organisations in India. He 
added that Indian employers who were not members of these organisations 
possessed a larger number of factories and used a larger amount of capital 
than European employers in India. Mr. Daud suggested that European and 
Indian employers' organisations in India should come to a common under- 
standing in regard to the appointment of representative! to the International 

I 4 8 INDIA IN TrfE 

Labour Conference or else the Government should nominate such representa- 
tives by rotation. On the assumption that Mr. Baud was not opposing the 
proposal of the Credentials Committee, Sir Louis Kershaw refrained from 
discussing the merits of the case. He drew attention to the desire of the 
India Government that Indian employers should participate in the Con- 
ference as evidenced by efforts made by them to give Mr. Morarjee an 
opportunity to come to Geneva, In regard to Mr. Daud's suggestion regard- 
ing future nominations, Sir Louis Kershaw endorsed the proposal that 
European and Indian employers should come to a common understanding but 
he pointed out the difficulty in a system of rotation in view of the obligation 
of the Indian Government to comply with the exact terms of the Treaty 
The plenary sitting then adopted the Report of the Credentials Committee 
without any opposition.* 

The Eighth Session, 

Agenda. The items on the Agenda for the Eighth Session of the 
Conference were : 

(1) Discussion of tho Director's Report. 

(2) Simplification of the Inspection of Emigrants on Board Ship. 

(3) Consideration of a proposal made by the British Government to deal 
with the Reports rendered by States Members of the Organisation 
under Article 408 of the Treaty of Versailles. 

(4) Amendments to the Standing Orders of the Conference. 

(5) Resolutions (submitted by individual delegates under Article 1 2 of 

the Standing Orders of the Conference). 

Elections and Committees. Mgi\ W. H. Nolens, Government Dele- 
gate of Holland, was elected President of the Session. The Vice-Presidents 
were Dr. Aristides De Aguero Y Bethancourt (Cuba) for the Government 
Group, Dr, Francois Hodac (Czechoslovakia) for the Employers 1 Group, and 
Mr. Hermann Muller (Germany) for the Workers' Group. Sir Atul Chatrerjee 
was unanimously elected Chairman of the Selection Committee which directs 
and organises the work oi the Session. 

In addition to the Selection Committee and the Credentials Committee, 
four Committees were constituted to deal respectively with (l) the proce- 
dure relating to the examination of reports under Articles 408, (2) the 
Double Discussion Procedure, (3) the Amendment of Standing Orders, and 

*In this connection it would be interesting here to read a special cable to The Bombay 
Chronicle from Paris which said that Prof. Haji, the representative of the Indian Chambeis, 
en route to London at the end of the Geneva Labour Conference, when interviewed, 
exprebtjed satisfaction at the result of the Geneva mission, regradmg protects against the 
nomination of the employers' delegate. He eaid : Theie continued for one hour and 
a half an interesting discussion before the Credentials Committee, between Sir 
L. Kershaw and Sir Arthur Froom on the one hand and himself on the other. Its 
effects on the Committee, were favourable to Indian sentiments judged by various 
admissions, made by the Committee in the report, which deemed it expedient to validate 
the credentials of Sir Arthur Froom. In the discussion before the Committee, the Indian 
Government delegate seems to have gone to the length of saying that Indian protests 
were not genuine and that they were political, being connected with agitation for the 
reservation of coastal traffic." Prof. Haji challenged Sir L. Kershaw to point out a 
single statement in all the protests which was political in nature, He assured the 
Committee that the protests were based fully on the right of tho Indian Associations to 
representation at International Conferences. Upon this position being accepted by the 
Committee, Sir L. Kerehaw, after preliminary explanations which were not accepted, 
finally withdrew hi* statement, Ed, 


(4) Inspection of Emigrants. The Indian Government secured representa- 
tion on the first and second of these Committees as well as on the Selec- 
tion Committee. Sir Arthur Froom obtained a place on the Fourth Com- 
mittee. Mr. Lajpat Rai was elected by the Workers' Group to be a member 
of the Third Committee and a substitute member of the Selection Committee. 

Discussion on the Director's Iteport. The Report for 1926 \vas 
757 pages in length and the debate occupied five full sittings of the Session, 
The discussion was of the same general nature as in previous years, but 
at the Eighth Session no mention was made of maritime labour, as it was 
understood that a portion of the time of the Ninth Session would be 
devoted to the purely maritime sections of the Report. Much of the discus- 
sion, as usual, related to the slow progress in the ratification of the Washington 
Hours Convention, but the speeches indicated considerable hope that tangible 
results would follow the Conference on this subject held in London in 
March last between tho Labour Ministers of Great Britain, France, Germany, 
Belgium and Italy, the countries of chief Industrial importance in Europe. 
This feeling was strengthened by tho declaration of the Belgian Government 
representative that his Government had definitely recommended ratification 
to the Belgian Legislature and the later announcement that the Belgian 
Chamber of Deputies had adopted tho Bill. In France, too, the legislation 
necessary for ratification is at present before the Senate, the Chamber of 
Deputies having already passed it. The German Government representative 
stated that a Bill had been drafted and was at present under consideration 
by the Federal States. No definite announcement was made by the British 
Government representative beyond the statement that the results of 
the London Conference were under the consideration of His Majesty' 

Interesting references were made by several delegates to the new indus- 
trial experiments in progress in America, and to which the Director devoted 
some space in his Report. The introduction of new scientific ideas in the 
organisation of industry was welcomed by the Workers' delegates, while 
regret was expressed that the United States, the home of these ideas, waa 
not a Member of the International Labour Organisation. 

A feature of special interest to India in the debate on the Direc- 
tor's Report at the 1925 Session of the Conference had been the discussion 
regarding the failure of Japan to ratify the Washington Conventions 
relating to hours of work and night work of women. This question was 
again raised at the Eighth Session. Sir Arthur Froom, who led the debate 
on this subject, put the case of the Bombay Millowuers in a cogent and 
forcible manner. He gave a resume of recent Indian factory legislation and 
described the serious situation that had arisen in the Indian cotton mill 
industry owing to the hours of work and the night work of women in 
Japanese mills. He brought to notice, as evidence of the earnest desire of 
India to ameliorate the condition of workers, not only the ratification of the 
Washington Conventions, but also the passing of new measures such as the 
Workmen's Compensation Act and the Trade Unions Act. He deplored 
the fact that there had been no improvement in the position in Japan during 
the twelve months that had elapsed since the last meeting of the Conference. 
The Japanese Factory Act of 1923, though passed by the Diet, had not been 
promulgated, nor would it adequately fulfil Japan's obligations under the 
Washington Convention. After promulgation, a further three years' grace 


was to be given before the provisions of the Act, meagre as they were, wdre 
put into operation. 

Sir Arthur Froom's pica was ably supported by Mr. Lajpat Rai, who 
made a strong appeal to Japan on grounds of humanity and in the interests 
of the mothers of the race. He mentioned not only the prohibition of night 
work of women in Indian factories, but also the efforts which were being 
made to prohibit the underground work in mines by women and children, 
the existence of which in Japan was brought prominently to the notice of 
the Conference by Mr. Narasaki, the Workers' delegate of Japan. (It may 
be noted that at a later stage Sir Atul Chatterjeo pointed out that under- 
ground work by childern was at present absolutely prohibited in India.) 
Mr. Laj pat Rai expressed a strong hope that Japan would 'vindicate the 
honour of the East and the Orient 1 . The reasoned and temperate speech 
of Mr. Lajpat Rai was reinforced by an equally powerful appeal from Miss 
Margaret Bondfield, who accompanied the British Delegation as Adviser to 
the Workers' delegate. As a representative of trade union sections interested 
in women's work, Miss BoridnVld acknowledged thankfully the improve- 
ments that had already taken place in India and Japan. She saw however 
no justification for the procraiti nation of Japan in prohibiting the night work 
of women. She drew attention to the condition of women workers in China 
and added " What can we say to them if in that near country of Japan these 
necessary reforms are being continually postponed ? It is because that we 
feel that we must look to Japan for the greatest influence in bringing about an 
amelioration of the condition of affairs in China. The Indian Delegate put 
it from the standpoint of the way in which Japan was retarding the growth 
of development in India. I agree, but it is still more terrible to think of 
that country which has worse conditions than Japan and which is being 
encouraged to do nothing by the fact that Japan, that highly organised, 
highly efficient country, is delaying the operation of these Conventions." 
She hoped that it would soon be possible to say that " Japan is determined 
to come into line to help to save the lives of large masses of women, who in 
the past have been the most exploited sections of the labour movement ". 

Sir Atul Chatterjoe, who spoke after Miss Bondfield, expressed gratifi- 
cation on behalf of the Indian Government and the Indian people for the 
very appreciative and encouraging references that had been made in the 
Director's Report and in the speeches in the Conference to the very satis- 
factory progress of social legislation in India. He pointed out that India 
was the only country of chief industrial importance which had ratified the 
Hours Convention. The five chief countries of Europe were engaged in 
serious consideration of this matter, but India was particularly interested in 
ratification by Japan ' which is the country nearest us and with which we 
have the closest commercial relations/ The position of India was becoming 
more difficult every year, and although under the Treaty Japan was perfectly 
free to ratify or not to ratify, Sir Atul Chatterjee hoped that in the same 
way as the countries of chief industrial importance in Europe were giving 
close attention to the subject, Japan also would do the same. Turning to 
the subject of night employment of women, he showed how the Washington 
Convention was merely a confirmation of a similar Convention that had been 
passed in Berne in 1906 and how every civilised country had in practice prohi- 
bited the night work of women. The 1923 Japanese Act did riot carry out 
the requirement* laid down at Washington. The object of the Washington 


Convention was to secure a complete stoppage of all work for women for* 
at least eleven hours during the night, whereas the Japanese Act abolished 
work only between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with permission ^to the 
administrative authorities to extend the night period to 1 1 p.m. As in his 
speech on this subject last year, Sir Atul made a strong appeal on ethical 
grounds to the Japanese Government. 

Mr. Mayeda, the Japanese Government delegate, spoke on very much 
the same lines as in the previous year. He repeated that in actual fact, 
hours in Japanese cotton mills were practically the same as those prescribed 
by the Washington Convention. Mr. Mayeda explained that delay in the 
promulgation of the 1923 Act had been the result of the disastrous earth- 
quake in Japan in 1 923. He was however able to announce that the Act 
was to be promulgated on the 1st July 1926, a statement that was received 
with much satisfaction by the Conference. 

What may be termed the Oriental part of the debate was wound 
up by speeches from Mr. Matsukata, the Japanese Employers' delegate, Mr. 
Narasaki, the Japanese Workers' delegate and Mr. Chao Hsin Chu, the 
Government delegate of China. Mr. Matsukata defended the Japanese 
cotton mills which ho said have better conditions than the Indian mills. He 
himself, however, as an employer had introduced the eight-hour day in his 
own works, which employed 15,000 men. Mr. Narasaki in chronicling the 
grievances of Japanese workers laid special stress on the fact that Japan had 
not taken adequate measures to protect women and children in industry. 

In an interesting speech regarding labour conditions in China, Mr. Chao 
Hsin Chu pointed out that China was still predominantly an agricultural 
country. Industrialism had come to China but would have to adapt itself 
to Chinese conditions. Factory industries were at present confined to the 
Treaty Ports which did not conform to Chinese law. The decree issued in 
1923 by the Chinese Government reforming factory labour conditions and 
appointing factory inspectors had no force in the extra-territorial areas. The 
Chinese labourer was different from labourers in the West, in that he was 
satisfied to earn just enough to ke^p body arid soul together and objected to 
being made a part of modern industrial machinorv, as was shown by the 
recent strike in Shanghai in which the workmen considered better treatment 
to be moro important than enhanced wages and shorter hours. 

In addition to his appeal to Japan, Mr. Lajpat Rai had in his 
speech referred to a few other problems. He drew attention particularly to 
the position of native and coloured labour in countries with foreign 
Governments or with Governments under Mandates, a subject to which he 
returned later when he moved a Resolution asking the Office to study the 
conditions of such workers. He was careful not to introduce into the 
discussion on the Director's Report any controversial matter regarding the 
position in the British Dominions, particularly in South Africa. Mr. Lajpat 
Rai also raised the question of forced labour both in British India and in 
Indian States, On this point Sir Atul Chatterjee replied that forced labour 
was permitted by luv in British India only in certain exigencies such as 
the prevention of damage to canals and irrigation works. He added that 
the Government representatives at the International Labour Conference 
were not authorised to speak for the Indian States. The question of forced 
labour had been raised more than once in the Assembly of the League of 


Nation and if raited again would doubtless be dealt with by the Indian 

In his speech winding up the discussion on the Report, the Director 
and Secretary General, M. Albert Thomas gave a broad survey of the work 
achieved by the International Labour Organisation. The results on the 
whole, he claimed, must be regarded as satisfactory. The ratifications may 
not be sufficiently numerous but it has to be remembered that the influence 
of the work of the Organisation was much wider than the number of 
ratifications would seem to imply. M. Thomas made particular reference to 
the discussion between the representatives of India and Japan and while not 
passing any opinion on the arguments advanced in it, ho expressed satisfac- 
tion that the workers in the East, in virtue of the public discussions at 
Geneva, had succeeded in obtaining certain benefits enjoyed by workers in the 
West. In reference to a charge that had been levelled against India to the 
effect that she had not ratified the Convention relating to the age of 
employment of children, M, Thomas took care to point out that this was not 
the fault of India which had given practical effect to the Convention but 
could not ratify it owing to certain technical difficulties. 

Resolutions.- Five general Resolutions were placed before the Con- 
ference, four by Workers 1 delegates and one by M. Sokal, the Government 
delegate for Poland. Mr. Lajpat Rai submitted two Resolutions, one asking 
for an enquiry into the conditions of life and work of native and coloured 
labour in Africa and America, the other suggesting the early appointment 
of a correspondent in India of the International Labour Office. M. Schurch, 
Workers' delegate of Switzerland, submitted a Resolution on unemployment, 
and M. Mortens, Workers' delegate of Belgium, one on the Washington 
Convention on Hours of Work. M. SokaPs Resolution dealt with the scienti- 
fic organisation of industry, a subject which, as already mentioned had elicited 
some comments during the discussion on the Director's Report. 

Mr. Lajpat Rai's original Resolution, as submitted to the Conference 
by the Selection Committee, was in tho following terms : " This Conference 
requests the International Labour Office to make an enquiry into the con- 
ditions of life and work of what is known as * native labour ' and ' coloured 
labour ' in the Continents of Africa and America, to publish the results of 
that enquiry and place that question on the Agenda of an early future 
Conference." This Resolution led to a 'native labour' and ' coloured labour' 
in the Continents of Africa and of South American countries took the most 
prominent part. The South African delegate objected to tho Resolution 
because Africa and America had been singled out from the rest of the 
world and the motive or object of the enquiry was not apparent. The South 
American delegates urged that the Resolution was meaningless ao far as 
their countries were concerned, as either native and coloured labour did 
not exist in their countries, or, if it did exist, there was distinction between 
it and other labour. In rrply to the many criticisms of his Resolution, Mr. 
Lejpat Rai referred to the Resolution adopted during the previous year, at 
the instance of Mr. Joshi, to enquire into conditions of labour in Asia and 
said that he merely it-tended to extend the scope of that enquiry. He did 
uot aim specially at South Africa. He wanted that East and West Africa 
as well as South Africa should be included within the enquiry. His main 
idea was to bring to light full information on the conditions affecting native 
and coloured labour throughout the world ; he had no ulterior motive in 


moving tbe Resolution, nor did he wish to oast reflections on any particular 
Government. An amendment moved by the Government delegate of 
Venezuela to omit the words ' in the continents of Africa and America* was 
carried, but it was ineffective as no quorum was present. In the course of 
the debate it was brought to notice that the Governing Body had already 
undertaken, at the request of the League of Nations, an enquiry into the 
question of forced and indentured labour. Mr. Wolfe, Government Delegate 
of Great Britain then moved the Resolution which was accepted by Mr. 
Lajpat Rai. It was carried by 78 votes to 3. 

Mr. Lajpat Rai's second Resolution which merely repeats a similar 
Resolution passed in the Conference of 1922 was adopted without opposition.* 

M. Schurch's Resolution, amended at the instigation of the German 
Workers 1 delegate by the insertion of paragraph 1 (a), was unanimously 

M. Merfcens' Resolution on the Washington Hours Convention was 
carried by 64 votes to 21. 

M. Sokal's Resolution on an enquiry into the scientific organisation of 
industry, was carried by 84 votes to 1. 

The Ninth Session. 

The items on the Agenda for the Ninth Session were : (l) Interna- 
tional Codification of the Rules Relating to Seamen's Articles of Argeement ; 
(2) The General Principles for the Inspection of the Conditions of Work 
of Seamen ; (3) Discussion of the Maritime Sections of the Director's 
Report ; (4) Re-election of the Joint Maritime Commission ; (5) Resolu- 

Election* and Committees. -Lord Burnham, Government Delegate of 
Great Britain, was elected President of the Conference. The Conference 
was confronted iu its initial stage with a difficult problem relating to the 
constitution of appropriate committees for the consideration of the two 
main items on the programme viz , Codification and Inspection and the basis 
of the discussion on the subjects. 

The question of an International Seamen's Code had been considered 
by the Commission on International Labour Legislation of the Peace Con- 
ference in 1919, and by the Second Session of the International Labour 
Conference held at Genoa in 1920. The Genoa Session directed the Inter- 
national Labour Office to proceed with investigations necessary for farming 
an International Seamen's Code, on the lines laid down in the Report of the 
Special Commission of that Session. The whole subject had since been 
carefully studied by the Joint Maritime Commission, an organisation set 
up by the Governing Body and consisting of shipowners' and seamen's re- 
presentatives, together with three representatives of the Governing Body but 
no agreement had been reached in this Commission. The proposals of the 
International Labour Office were drafted on the basis of replies received 
to tbe usual detailed Questionnaire sent to Governments. In these proposals 

* The following is the text of the Resolution : This Conference draws the attention 
of the Governing Body to the Resolution referred to it by the Conference in 1922 regard- 
>g the appointment of a National Correspondent in India and request* the Governing 
Body to decide on tht matter as soon as possible. 



the subject of codification was divided into three parts, Articles of Agree- 
ment, Repatriation and Discipline. The Office had in the customary manner 
prepared Draft Conventions on each of these headings for the consideration 
of the Conference. At an early stage of the session, the Employers' Group 
(i.e. the Shipowners) put forward proposals the general purport of which 
was that the Conference should reject the suggestions of the Office as a 
basis for discussion, They contended that the Office had not carried out 
the directions given at Genoa, and they tried to persuade the Conference 
to discuss instead of the Office proposals a draft Code which had been drawn 
up by a Special Sub-Committee of the Joint Maritime Commission. The 
debate on this subject, which took two full sittings of the Conference, resulted 
in the Employers' Resolution being heavily defeated, by 78 votes to 27. 
In spite of their defeat on the main issue, the Employers persisted in attemp- 
ting to have only one Committee to discuss the item on Codification, 
particularly the two Conventions on Articles of Agreement and Discipline. 
After further debate, the Conference ultimately decided, by a very conclu- 
sive majority, to set up four Committees, that is to say, one Committee for 
each of the three Draft Conventions prepared by the Office, on the subject 
of codification, and a Committee for Inspection The throe Draft Conven- 
tions submitted by the Office had, however, for obvious reasons common 
definitions. In order that a basis of common definitions might be maintained 
a special Co-ordination Committee was set up, composed of members from 
each Committee. This machinery worked excellently. The Conference fur- 
ther decided that the Committees on Articles and on Repatriation should 
not meet simultaneously so as to make it possible for a delegate to attend 
the meetings of both these committees but owing to the congestion of business 
at a later stage, this decision was not always observed in practice. 

The Indian Government Delegation sought and obtained seats on the 
Committees on Articles of Agreement and Repatriation. They had also a 
seat on the Selection Committee, and one on the Co-ordination Committee. 
Sir Arthur Froom was elected by the Employers' Group to the Committees 
on Articles of Agreement, Discipline and Inspection of the Conditions of 
Work. Mr. Daud was elected to the Articles and Inspection Committees and 
also to the Selection Committee. 

Discussion of the Maritime Sections of the Director's Report. The debate 
occupied only part of one sitting of the Conference. It was strictly 
limited to questions of maritime interest and no issue of prime international 
import was raised. The question of an eight-hours' day for seamen had been 
dealt with beforehand in connection with a Resolution which will be referred 
to in a subsequent paragraph. 

In the debate, several Government delegates, described the progress 
made in their countries in maritime labour legislation ; the Workers' 
delegates (represented by Mr. Daud of India and Mr. Tsudzuki of Japan), 
complained that progress had not been sufficiently rapid. 

Mr. Daud had given notice of a Resolution dealing with the questions 
of recruitment and unemployment of Indian seamen but it was not admitted 
owing to the shortness of notice. He was, however, able to raise these 
questions, as he was entitled to do during the discussion on the Director's 
Report. He stated that at least two hundred thousand Indian seamen were 
unemployed at present, and he ascribed this fact to the " much-abused system 
of recruitment through Government licenced shipping brokers and ghat 


Indian seamen, he said, were exploited in all possible ways in the 
matter of wages and working hours. Their wages were very low, they had 
no fixed hours of work, and no overtime pay was given. He asked the seamen 
of Europe to keep their eyes on the Indian seamen to see that they were well 
paid and properly treated, for, until this was done, India would remain 
the recruiting ground for cheap maritime labour to the detriment of European 
seamen, Mr. Daud thon referred to the Seamen's Recruitment Committee 
appointed by the Government of India in 1921 of which he was a member 
and complained that the recommendations of the Committee iud not yet been 
enforced. Although an officer had been appointed to take charge of the 
Recruitment Bureau in Calcutta, the shipping brokers continued to recruit 

Mr. Daud's arguments were answered on behalf of us by Mr. Gilchrist, 
who explained to the Conference the difficulties in starting the Recruitment 
Bureau. He pointed out that the proposals of the Committee appointed in 
1921 involved a complete alteration of the existing method of recruitment. 
He emphasised the fact that the Draft Convention of 1920 renders it 
essential to consult shipowners' organisations. With regard to unemployment, 
Mr. Gilchrist described Mr. Daud ; s statements as being much more emphatic 
than exact and suggested that these domestic grievances were best discussed 
in the Provincial Legislature. 

Mr. Tsudzuki, the Japanese Labour Delegate, raised the question of 
recruitment through fee-charging agencies in Japan. He accused the 
Japanese Government of not being sincere in taking steps to suppress 
commercial employment agents, and complained that joint bodies of 
shipowners and seamen, as contemplated in the Draft Convention of 1920, 
had not been consulted. The Japanese Government representative replied 
that sixty per cent, of the fee-charging employment agencies had already 
been abolished and that the remainder would be also gradually replaced. 

In the course of his reply, M. Thomas, the Director, expressed satis- 
faction that the new scheme of recruitment adoped in Bengal was based on 
one of the alternatives suggested in the Genoa Convention. He noted 
that this was an example of the influence that the International Labour 
Conference exercised on national legislation, even where DO ratification of a 
Draft Convention was secured. 

It will be seen that, with the exception of M. Matsukata of Japan, the 
Members and Deputy Members of both Groups are entirely from Europe, 
This led to a strong protest on behalf of overseas countries by Dr. Riddell, 
Government representative of Canada, who was supported by Mr. Pocock, 
the Employers' representative of South Africa. Dr. Riddell moved that the 
elections should be referred back to the Groups with a view to giving a 
fair representation to overseas Members of the Organisation. This Resolu- 
tion, though moved mainly as a protest and a warning, failed by only three 
votes 39 to 36. 

Resolutions* Several Resolutions were carried at this Session of the 
Conference. Of these the most important was one dealing with the 
subject of Hours of Work at sea. The question of Hours of Work at sea 
(including inland navigation and the fishing industry) was discussed at the 
Qenoa Conference in 1920. After a long discussion in Committee a draft 
Convention was proposed to the effect that the number of hours* without 
distinction of nationality or race, should be eight per day and forty-eight par 


week, Bubjeot to certain exceptions mentioned in the Convention. At the 
Conference this proposal just failed to secure the necessary two-thirds 
majority. Discussions subsequent to the Genoa Session of the Conference 
between representatives of the shipowners and seamen had failed to produce 
any agreement. A Resolution was now moved at the Ninth Session of the 
Conference in the name of the Workers' Group ID the following terms : 

" The Conference asks the Governing Body to place the question of 
the regulation of hours of work on board-ship on the Agenda 
of a Special Maritime Session in 1928, and to submit this question 
to the Joint Maritime Commission at its next regular Session/' 

It was pointed out in opposition by the British Government delegate 
that, in view of the failure of national joint bodies such as the National 
Maritime Board in Great Britain, to reach agreement on the question, it was 
futile to expect that agreement could be reached at an International Confer- 
ference in 1928. The Employers' Group, with the exception of the French 
Employers' representative, were against the proposal on the grounds that the 
condition of the shipping industry was at present far less favourable to the 
introduction of the eight-hours day than it was in 1920, that the limitation 
of the working hours at sea was not necessary in the same way as it was 
in factories, and that the experience of the one country in which it had 
been adopted, namely France, showed that the eight-hours system could not 
be harmonised with the conditions of employment at sea. The French Em- 
ployers' delegate voted for the Resolution on the ground that it would re-open 
the whole question and give French Employers a chance to press for the 
repeal of the French Eight Hours Act. The Resolution was ultimately adopt- 
ed by 67 votes to 26. The Government representatives of India voted against 
it for the reasons mentioned by the British Government delegate. 

Among the other Resolutions was one dealing with Seamen's Welfare. 
This Resolution arose from the recommendations of a sub-committee appoint* 
ed by the Joint Maritime Commission and was unanimously adopted by the 

The Non-official Report and Statement. 

Mr. M. Daud, the Indian Workers' Delegate to the Ninth Session of 
the International Labour Conference, on his return from Europe, submitted 
the following report of his work to the General Secretary of the All-India 
Trade Union Congress : 

" The All-India Trade Union Congress in its Sixth Session at Madras, nominated me as 
the Indian Workers' Delegate to the Ninth Session of the International Labour Conference 
at Geneva, and which nomination was duly approved and accepted by the Government 
of India. The Conference did a great honour to the Indian Workers by nominating their 
representative in the Selection Committee, and I tried my best to safeguard and promote 
the interests of Indian seamen. 

" Before the Conference proceeded to discuss the Agenda (namely (i) International 
Codification of the Seamen's Articles oi Agreement (2) Inspection of Seamen's General 
Conditions of work) which was prepared by the International Labour Office, a preliminary 
objection wai taken by the Shipowner*' group who tabled two resolutions objecting to the 


discussion of the Agenda at all by the Conference. The matter was very seriously 
considered by the Workers 1 group and I was selected as one of the speakers to oppose them. 

" I expressed dissatisfaction of the workers (Maritime), on the reports about social 
Insurance for Seamen, health of Seamen, statistics of ship-wrecks and incidents and 
proper regulation of dock cargoes. Regarding India and Indian Seamen I pointed out 
to the Conference, that the Government of India has, so far, not yet ratified any of the 
important conventions passed at Genoa in 1920 and at Geneva in 1921, for the benefits 
of the seamen, except two very unimportant conventions the privileges of which were 
already being enjoyed by the Indian seamen since 1911, i.e., before the establifihrnent of 
the International Labour Organisation. The matter of Indian seamen's much abused 
system of recruitment by Government licensed shipping brokers and Ghat Se range, and 
the Government of India's diletoriness in enfoicing the recommendations of the Seamen's 
Recruitment Committee on the lines of the Geneva proposal, were brought to the notice 
of the Conference and the International Labour Office. And to the satisfaction of the 
Indian seamen, the Government of India's representative Mr. Gilchrist admitted in the 
Conference, that delay in enforcing the recommendations of the Recruitment Committee 
was due to the complexity of the problem. And thus the longstanding grievances of the 
Indian seamen relating to the obnoxious system of recruitment through brokers and Ghat 
Barangs, which was brought to the notice of the Conference, met with some success by the 
declaration of the Government of India's delegates, and the Director's promise to 
register that declaration, hoping that the ratification will be forthcoming. 

' Another important point that I raised in the Conference was the unemployment 
problem of the Indian seamen. The Government of India's Delegate met the question 
half- way and declared that any suggestion or representation to be made to the Government 
will doubtless receive careful consideration ". 

Mr. S. N. Haji's Statement. 

Mr. S. N. Haji, who had been deputed to Geneva to enter a protest on behalf of 
the Indian Merchants 1 Chamber of Bombay, the Karachi Indian Merchants' Association, 
the Buyers' and Shippers' Chamber of Karachi, the Indian Chamber of Commerce, 
Calcutta, and the Burma Indian Chamber of Commerce of Rangoon, against the nomina- 
tion, by the Government of India, of Sir Arthur Fioom as the Employers' Delegate to 
the eighth and ninth sessions of the International Labour Conference, on his return from 
Europe, m a statement to the press, says that since his arrival in India he has acquainted 
himself with the various interviews and the Government letters and replies in the Assem- 
bly referring to the question of Indian Employers' Delegate for Geneva, he expresses 
surprise that after all that happened at Geneva, the Government of India still persist in 
repeating their statements. 

Right to Protest Against Government's Action. 

With reference to the contention of the Government of India that the associations 
nominating Sir Arthur Froom were the most representative organisations, Mr. Haji says 
that what matters is not the opinion of the Government of India but what the Labour 
Conference at Geneva has to say with regard to such a declaration. We have the con- 
titutional right to lodge and make effective protests which will be heard in a judicious 
ipirit by an International Tribunal and at that bar, the Government of India could be 
placed in the position of defendants whenever they do not pay heed to the demand of 
the country to participate through her own nationals in the deliberations of the Geneva 
conferences. Such being the case, it is hoped that the Government of India, after their 
last experience! would not provoke another protest by unfair nominations in the future. 

Importance of Credentials Committee's Reports. 

In the opinion of Mr. Haji, it is very desirable in the interests of Indian represen- 
tation at future labour conferences at Geneva, that the Indian public should carefully 
scrutinise the details of the reports of the Credentials Committee. In doing so, however, 
proper attention should be paid to the high status of the Credentials Committee and the 
implications arising therefrom. At the very beginning of the proceedings of the Inter- 
national Labour Conference, the three groups w>., the Government delegates, tho 
Employers' delegates and the Workmen's delegates elect separately one of their mem* 
bere to represent them on the Credentials Committee. Therefore, each one of the 
three memberi of the Committee bat behind him the force of hit group and the three 


members together arrive at decisions which are generally accepted by and represent 
the considered opinion of all the civil 1st ci countries of the world who are represented 
at Geneva. Bearing, therefore, in mind the very authoritative position of the three 
members of the Credentials Committee let us proceed to examine their opinion on the 
main objections of the Indian Chambers. 

Indian Chambers Objections. 

Referring to the objection that Sir Arthur Froom represents neither Indian interests 
nor Indian employers, " The Committee are unanimously of opinion that the representa- 
tion of a country at the general conference should be a national one. 11 Here, Mr. Haji 
states, we have the enunciation by the Credentials Committee ot a great principle, which, 
if properly applied, will prevent non-Iudians ever going to Geneva to further their own 
interests in the name of India. 

As regards -the action of the Government of India in not taking into account the 
nomination of Mr. Narottam Moraine by the three Indian chambers, on the plea that they 
were received after the date arbitral ily fixrd by the Government, it IB reassuring to 
find that the Credentials Comnmttee have fully considered their protest along with 
the rest, irrespective of this date. 

The Government of India's contention that their action in the mat ter of nomina- 
tions is guided wholly by Art. 389 of the Treaty of Versailles is wiong though they argue 
that they had no choice but to accept Sir Arthur Froom who was nominated by the two 
European Chambers of Commeice, which, in tluir opinion, are the most representative of 
the employers. If the Goveinment of India's aigumeiit is to be put to its logical test, it 
follows that, in offering to Mr, Narottam M 01 arj*e trie post of delegate to the 8th Con- 
ference or to the 9th Conference, they have exceeded their right under the Treaty of 
Versailles. In fact, of course, they have utilised it to further non-Indian interests, but if 
the argument they put forward were genuine, they have undoubtedly acted in contiaven- 
tion of the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. 

The Committee's Verdict. 

With reference to the question as to who were the most representative organisations 
of the employers of India as against the mere declaiation of the Government delegate 
that the European Chambers were the most repiesentative, attention is drawn in the 
report to numerous documents submitted to the Committee and the oral explanations 
made to it by Mr. S. N. Haji on behalf of the ob]ecting organisations to show that the 
European Chambers were not at all representative of India. In the course of these 
explanations, Mr. Haji showed not meiely that the European (Jhambeis were foreign 
institutions, but accoidirg to the statistics of capital, ownerbhip and management of 
Indian factories they can in no sente be called representatives of Indian industrial 
organisations, as in all these i terns, the Indian element was more than double the 
European. The Committee, therefore pronounce their final verdict t hat they deem it ex- 
pedient (as against their usual statement when convinced of the validity ot a contested 
nomination that they recommend) that the general conference should pioceed to 
validate the credentials of Sir Arthur Froom. The words " the Committee diems it 
expedient," seems to have lost their full purport upon the Government of India, who, 
instead of the works referred to, state that "Sir Aithur Froom's credentials v\ere validated 
by endorsement without a dissentient vote at a pienaiy sesbiou on the unanimous recom- 
mendation of the Credentials Committee." It is strange that the truth of the finding 
of the Committee should thus be turned into a long- worded mis-statement. 

Finally, Mr. Hap draws pointed attention to the gieat facilities Geneva and her 
International Organisations, such as the League of Nations and the Labour Conferences, 
afforded for making known the political, the industrial and economic aspirations of 
India. In Geneva, for weeks together, there are concentrated the best brains of the 
world engaged in various walks of life. Ambassadors, Ministers, well-known labour 
leaders and industrial magnates are all keen to know more about India and the place she 
is seeking for herself. During the last sessions a very good impression was created in 
what might be called an international circle by the presence in Geneva of the Indian 
labour delegates and independent politicians like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It is very 
desirable, therefore, that the Indian political and industrial organisations in this country 
should make very earnest and continuous efforts to meet this international demand for 
knowledge regarding India and her multifarious problems, 


League of Nations Assembly 

The Seventh (Ordinary) Session of the Assembly of the League of 
Nations was held at Geneva from 6th to 25th September 1926. We give 
below the speeches delivered by the members of the Indian Delegation 
during tho several sittings of the League. The Delegation consisted of : 
Sir William Henry Hoare Vincent, G.C.I.E, K.C.S.I. (Member of the 
Council of the Secretary of State for India, former Member of the Execu- 
tive Council of the Governor-General of India). Colonel His Highness the 
Maharaja of Kapurthala, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. Khan Bahadur Shaikh Abdul 
Qadir (former President of tho Legislative Council of the Punjab ). 

Substitutes. Sir C. P. Ramaswami Ayyar, K.C.I.E. (Member of the 
Governor's Executive Council, Madras). Sir Edward Maynard des Champs 
Chamier, K.C.I.E. (Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State for India, 
former Chief Justice of the High Court of Patna). Sir Basaota Kumar 
Mullick (Puisne Judge of the High Court of Patna). 

Report of a Speech delivered by His Highness the Maharaja of Kapurthala in the Assembly 
on the 8th September 1 926. 

Before I address myself to those aspects of the work of the League which are of 
special interest to India, I wish to offer you, Mr. President, on behalf of the Indian 
Delegation to this Assembly and in my personal capacity as a Ruling Prince of India, my 
most sincere and respectful congratulations on your election to preside over the work of 
this session. 

This is not the first occasion on which an Indian Prince has had the honour of 
addressing the Assembly of the League. Among my predecessors Their Highnesses the 
Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar and the Maharajas of Bikanir and Patiala have been 
privileged, as members of other Indian Delegations*, to toll you something of the awaken- 
ing of inteiest and sympathy among the Governments and the masses of India for the 
ideals and work of the League. 

It may not be out of place to mention that India, with its vast area and population 
composed of peoples of different races and creeds speaking languages which are as entirely 
diffeicrit in different parts of the country as, for instance, Portuguese is from Russian or 
Swedish from Greek, can more appropriately be called a sub-continent, and two-fifths of 
this entire Indian peninsula and on-rifth ot its population are ruled by the Indian Prinoea 
and Chiefs, under the euz rainty and the protection of His Muj-'sty the King-Emperor. 

The principal Ruling Pi incta are absolutely mtepeu-iciu in the internal administra- 
tion of their States. The British Indian law is not in force in thMr territories, nor can 
the Indian Legislature legislate for them, and the High Courts of Justice in British India 
have no jurisdiction over their subjects. 

I and my brother Princes keenly feel the honour and responsibility of being included 
among the representatives of India at the Assembly of the League. We are glad, aa 
practical administrators conversant with the day-to-day problems of government, to be 
allowed the opportunity of bringing our personal experience to the common stock and 
sharing in your important deliberations. 

I feel and have no hesitation in declaring that we Indian Princes, as rulers of our 
people, have better opportunities of diffusing the knowledge and the aims of the League 
i.e. universal peace and harmony and mutual co-operation for the welfare of humanity 
on the basis of equality of nations amongst our people and from there to the remotest 
corners of the Indian Empire than others who are differently placed vis-avis to ourselves. 

With the spread of education and the knowledge and experience gained by travel in 
foreign countries, to which the people of India are now beginning to apply themselves^ 


India ft awakening to a spirit of nationalism find, with iti own traditions and ideals and 
the friendly guidance and assistance of the British Government, I sincerely hope it will 
one day, not in the far distant future, achieve its glorious goal and will become a united 
nation and self-governing country, in all its rights and privileges, like its sister domi- 
nions of Canada, Australia and South Africa, and prove a iewel of outshining splendour 
in the Commonwealth of nations forming the British Empire. 

India is well aware that it has been essential for the League hitherto to devote its 
main energies to solving the grave problems left behind by the Great War. We have 
watched with interest the unceasing efforts of the Council and the Assembly to devise 
some means of promoting the great ideals of security, arbitration and reduction of arma- 
ments and its zeal in pressing forward schemes for the economic and financial reconstruc- 
tion of those countiies most hearily stricken during the aftermath of the war. 

India, though geographically far removed from the main scenes of these activities, 
has been privileged also to take some share in these endeavours. Several indeed of my 
countrymen have been associated in the work of League organisations directed to these 
objects. Among those now so engaged I may mention Sir Jagadis Bose, of the Committee 
for Intellectual Co-operation, Sir Muhammad Rafique, of the Committee for the Codifica- 
tion of International Law, and Sir Atul Chatterjce, of the Preparatory Committee for the 
Economic Conference. 

But the League has also undertaken other tasks imposed upon it by the Covenant in 
which India has a more direct interest and in which it has played a more conspicuous 
part. I speak of the international work in labour and social questions. India has been 
represented on the Governing Body of the Labour Organisation since 1923 as one of the 
eight chief indubtrial countries of the world. Her representatives have taken an active 
part in the discussions at the International Labour Conferences ; they have also attended 
other important international gatherings organised by the League. Among these I may 
cite the Conferences on Transit and Communications, Customs, Passports, Opium, Traffic 
in Women and Children and Traffic in Arms. As a result of India's participation in this 
work, 12 important international Conventions concluded at the League have been ratified 
on her behalf, apart from the special Labour Conventions concluded through the Inter- 
national Labour Organisation which she has also accepted. 

To give effect to these conventions, a number of legislative and administrative reforms 
have been enacted in British India. Our recent labour legislation has included the Indian 
Factories Act and the Indian Mines Act, which limit weekly hours of work in accordance 
with the Washington Labour Convention, 1919, and secure to miners the 24 hours weekly 
rest-day in accordance with the Geneva Labour Convention, 1921 

Social legislation in India to implement the ratification by India of the Convention 
for the Suppression of Traffic m Women and Children has included important amendments 
of the penal law devised to protect the community, and particularly minors, more 
effectively against Fexual crime. Much has also been achieved for the piotection and 
welfare of children by administrative measuics and the devoted woik of private organisa- 
tione. Opportunity will arise to speak more in detail on these matters during the 
discussion in Committee. 

The discussions at Geneva on opium and dangerous drugs have produced administrative 
changes resulting in the progressive restriction of the cultivation, internal consumption 
and export of opium, and also providing for the exchange with other countries of infor- 
mation designed to check the illicit drug traffic. I may here remind the Assembly that 
India has now decided to reduce itg exports of opium by a fixed annual proportion 
during the next 10 years BO that this export trade will be absolutely extinguished, save 
for medical and scientific purposes, in 10 years. 

Turning to the health work of the League, I am glad to tell you that India is closely 
co-operating with neighbouring countries to promote the work of the League Epidemio- 
logical Bureau at Singapore, and officers and doctors of her Medical Services are collabora- 
ting with European scientists in research into the cause of diseases which specially 
meance the East. 

The Indian States in some cases are at present ahead of British India in social and 
educational advancement. In ray own State, for instance, education is making rapid 
strides both for the boys and girls. It is compulsory in some parts and the compulsion 
is being gradually extended to other parts of the State. English, Persian, Arabic and 
Sanskrit languages are taught, and since a few years the French language has also been 
introduced in the lower and higher classes, but mine is the only Stale in ludia where this 
language is taught. 

Modern hygienic methods, sanitary improvements and electric light are established 
in the State. The municipalities are given powers to elect their own Presidents, and a 


representative Assembly exists for examining and discussing the budgets, for suggesting 
fresh legislation, and for advising my Government on social, agricultural and other 
administrative points. Marriage is unlawful among juveniles and laws prohibiting 
children smoking are in force. Central and provincial committees have been formed for 
maternity and child welfare, and philanthropic societies organised by educated people 
are doing useful work for humanity, which I think is the best beginning of the aims and 
objects of the League. 

At the risk of wearying you I have ventured to recapitulate these facts about India's 
share in the League woik in order to show you that her activities in this field have not 
been lacking. Distant as we are from the centre of League policy at Geneva, the 
obligations undertaken for my country by its representatives who signed the Covenant 
at Versailles have been brought home to the Governments and peoples of India in all 
directions, particularly in matters affecting social and industrial life. 

On the other hand, India is a country with its own ancient civilisation and traditions, 
of which it is intensely proud and which, in many respects, it regards as in no way 
inferior to the more material civilisation of the West. It is also a deeply religious and, 
in many respects, conservative country, to which many of those theories and principles 
which have emerged from the rapid industrial, social and political development during the 
last hundred years in Europe are entirely foreign. 

Nor are the circumstances of India in other respects analogous to those of modern 
industrial nations of the West ; in many cases, social and industrial problems in India 
must be dealt with on different lines, though we have accepted and carried out the greater 
part of the reforms in domestic and industrial life recommended from Geneva. It is for 
this reason that I feel justified in inviting you, on behalf of the Indian Delegation to 
consider whether in the future more particular attention should not be paid by the 
League to the conditions and problems special to Asia. 

All of us desire that the influence and authority of the League throughout the 
world should be as universal as the authors of the Covenant intended. If this object is 
to be achieved, the decisions and policies adopted at Geneva must be truly international, 
they must take more account of the differences existing in mankind due to climate, 
traditions, civilisation, and history, and must be conceived in a form which can be 
applied with allowance for those differences and with equally beneficial results to all parts 
of the world. 

To us in India some of the proposals made by League organisations have seemed to 
be too narrowly drawn on European models. In other cases, they appear to encroach 
on the internal authority of the various Governments m India. My predecessor, the 
Maharaja of Patiala, uttered a word of warning last year relating to certain schemes 
both m the social and economic spheres which His Highness and his colleagues consi- 
dered unsuitable in their present form for adoption in India. I will not detain the 
Assembly by any detailed discushion of these proposals, as such an examination can more 
properly be made wholly m the Committee. But I abk the Assembly seriously to con- 
sider what practical demonstration can be made to the peoples of India for whom I 
speak, what direct evidence can be offered to make them realise that their interests are 
appreciated and considered at Geneva as of equal importance with the interests of the 
West. Unless and until India is convinced of this it will be impossible to secure for the 
work of the League that whole-hearted interest and co-operation which is essential for 
the success of its great task. 

May I in particular cite one direction in which the assistance and sympathy of 
the West would be highly valued by all Eastern people, namely, the prevention of 
epidemic disease ? Here is a problem on which the health and happiness of the highest 
and the humblest equally depend, and if the League can promise the collaboration and 
assistance of countries more fortunately situated than the peoples of Asia in their daily 
contest with plague, cholera aud other similar diseases, the cause of the League would, 
in my judgment, be greatly advanced in the East, and the value of the great work done 
would be more widely felt and known, not only amongst the millions of India, but 
throughout Asia. Members of the Indian Delegation will refer In greater detail in Com- 
mittee to the methods in which this great duty of the League may bo promoted. 

It only remains for me to assure you, Sir, that my colleagues and I are eager to 
do our share in furthering the work of the League and in making its beneficent influence 
as comprehensive and world-wide as possible, and it is to this end that our suggestions 
and criticisms will be directed. 



Report of a Speech by Khan Bahadur Shaikh Abdul Qadtr m the Second Committee on 
thi 14th September 1926. (Intellectual Co-operation,} 

It is my privilege, as a representative of India on this Committee, to give expres- 
sion to our appreciation of the idea of intellectual co-operation as a factor in the 
development of true international spirit. It has great possibilities and the beginning that . 
has already been made is quite promising. The Committee on Intellectual Co-operation 
includes names that stand high in the domain of intellect throughout the world, and it is 
not without a legitimate pride that I notice among them the name of my distinguished 
countryman Sir Jagadis Bose, the eminent scientist. The Institute of Intellectual Co- 
operation, which has been opened at Paris, through the generosity of the French 
Government, provides a much-needed meeting place for illustrious literary and scientific 
men and a bureau of information for research scholars of every country. My esteemed 
friend, Sir Atul Chatterjee. the High Commissioner for India in London, attended the 
opening ceremony of the Institute in January 1926, representing Sir Jagadish Bose, thug 
marking India's sympathy with the foundation of an international intellectual centre. 
I understand that under the auspices of this Institute a course of lectures has been 
delivered at Geneva which has attracted a large number of students representing different 
countries. I am sure that students from my country, sojourning in Europe, who have 
either the means of spending some time at Geneva or who may be helped by any public 
body to do so, will find their contact with the work of intellectual co-operation inspiring 
and profitable. 

A practical method of intellectual co-operation, which has been suggested by the 
Committee appointed for the purpose, is the loan of books and manuscripts between 
libraries of the world. There can be no doubt as to the advantages of such a system, but 
it must not be forgotten that it has its risks. There are some books and documents in 
certain libraries of which there is not a second copy obtainable any where, and there is 
a danger of their being lost in transit or otherwise spoilt or damaged. There is, for 
instance, a unique manuscript of the Akbarnama in the Khuda Buksh Library at Patna, 
and we cannot afford to run any risks with regard to such a literary treasure. It seems 
to me, therefore, that it will not, perhaps, be wise to advocate the adoption of a general 
system of borrowing and lending such books ; but I may add that with the assurance 
of due precaution* against loss or damage the Government of India would always be 
willing to render help in this direction by supplying originals or copies, after considering 
the merits of each individual case. 

A closer touch between the Universities of the world and the creation of international 
vacation courses and inter-University assistance are also objects which will command 
general sympathy and which India would heartily help to promote. 

The eduration of the young as to the importance of international co-operation and 
AS to the spirit of the League is another laudable suggestion made by the Committee on 
Intellectual Co-operation. As resolved at the Sixth Assembly, a Sub-Committee of experts 
was called to consider methods of co-ordinating all official and non-official efforts on the 
above sublet, and it is noteworthy that Mr. 8. N. Chaturvedi, a Licentiate of Teaching 
at the Allahabad University in India, who takes a keen interest in this matter, took 
part in the work of this Preparatory Committee. This is not all. Various pamphlets 
have been published in India by teachers for the use of students on the work of the 
League, among which one by Mr. Jitendra Sen may particularly be mentioned. I think 
the importance of creating suitable literature for the young on the necessity of interna- 
tional Co-operation can hardly be exaggerated. Among the young there are, no doubt, 
some of the leaders of the coming generation, and if they are brought up to think 
internationally a brighter future for the world may confidently be expected. If the League 
can produce suitable literature for distribution to schools, as I think it should, I can 
assure you that the Government of India wnuid be prepared to make full use of such 
publications. I may add that, realising as I do the usefulness of developing healthy 
feelings of international sympathy among the young, I shall do all I can, in my individual 
capacity, to encourage the production of such literature in our country. The League of 
Nations Union in London has produced some very readable little books for children, and 
I hope similar efforts will be made by the branches of the Union that are now coming 
into existence in India. We have a branch of the Union at Lahore, the capital of the 
Punjab, and it has shown considerable activity during the last year. Aa a home of one 
of the most ancient civilisations of the world, India has great faith in intellectual 
culture and believes that the final solution of the great problems of humanity liei in the 


recognition by various nations of the value of the contributions made by each one of them 
to the progress of mankind and in a better appreciation of the merits of one another by 
means of intellectual co-operation. 

Report of a Speech by Khan Bahadur Shaikh Abdul Qadir m the Second Committee on 

the 17th September 1926. (International Economic Conference.) 

In the illuminating remarks which fell from M. Theunis, followed as they were by 

the observations of other delegates, including Baron von Rheinbaben, it is recognised that 

the work of the International Economic Conference is one of great complexity and diffi- 
culty and has to be approached so as to differentiate clearly between the international and 
national aspects of the question. It is true that the security amongst nations is, to no 

small degree, dependent upon economical peace and the solution of the many economic 
problems and difficulties whicb stand in the way of a revival of the world's prosperity. 
The problems, however, are so vast and complicated that a mere theoretical enunciation of 
principles will not take us to the goal to be reached. The active co-operation of Govern- 
ments and the reconciliation of their various national ideals must also be achieved. What 
is needed is a general survey of economic conditions, leading to the selection of a few 
subjects, which would lend themselves most adequately to specific treatment by the nations 
of the world, so as to minimise economic friction. India is a not inconsiderable unit in 
the economic life of the world, and the recent history of Indian trade and economic deve- 
lopment will, undoubtedly, furnish many lessons which may be of use to the world at 

Some of the problems arising in my great country are peculiar to her. There is 
a maiked discrepancy between the level of prices for agricultural and manufactured 
produce, India finding considerable difficulty in securing for her raw products prices 
which enable her to buy advantageously her requirements of manufactured goods. 
Abnormal fluctuations of prices in some of the raw products of India have also 
accounted for some of her difficulties, and, coupled with the general financial 
position, have led to a cutting down of the stocks to the minimum. It has some- 
times been remarked in certain quarters that India has controlled productions, but the 
control, such as it was, was due mainly to the inability of the markets of the world to 
buy her goods. 

These are difficulties which will have to be dealt with specifically with due advertence 
to local conditions ; but generally speaking, India is at one with most of the delegations 
in thinking that valuable results may be obtained by an enquiry and a conference conduct- 
ed with a few definite objects in view and pursued in a severely practical manner. 

I should like, in conclusion, to associate myself with the observations made by the 
distinguished representative of Great Britain, Commander Hilton- Young, regarding the 
proposed character of the Conference. It seems to me that beginning with a Conference 
of experts will certainly be more beneficial in the long run. It would leave every nation 
free to ponder over the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference before deciding 
to adopt them. A conference of Exports will, I think, exercise that salutary influence 
over public opinion which, it is generally conceded, should precede the willing acceptance 
of the recommendations of the Conference by the nations of the world. 

Report of a Speech fy Sir C. P. fantasutamt Ayyar in the fourth Committee on tie 
13th September 1926. (Budget of the League.) 

It is my duty, before I move the resolution* of which 1 have given notice to you, Mr. 
President, to express the thanks of my delegation (and I am sure that our feelings will be 
shared by every otfcer State Member of the League) for the very informative and lucid 

* " That this Committee, noing the tendency of the budget of the League to increase, 
and considering that in the present financial state of most countries of the world every 
effort should be made to resist this tendency, is of opinion that as a preliminary to the 
discussion of the details of the budget, and as a general guide to their consideration, it if 


presentation of the budget and its details by the Secretary-General and by the Auditor, 
Oommandatore Ceresa, to both of whom the Members of the League cannot but feel 
greatly obliged. To cite only one instance, is it not obvious, to anyone who has examined 
the history of the building fund, that the finances of the League are managed with the 
utmost prudence and circumspection and to the best advantage of the organisation ? My 
delegation is satisfied that the most meticulous care is always taken in scrutinising and 
checking the details of expenditure, including the budget of the Secretariat and the 
International Labour Office and the Court of International Justice. I cannot also forget 
the labours of the Supervisory Commission, whose member have, in turn, considered 
the reports of the Auditor, Commandatore A. Ceresa and of M. Vivaldi, the Assistant 
Auditor, as well as the budgetary estimates which have been submitted for the financial 
period 1927. Even a cursory study of the Report of the Supervisory Commission will 
demonstrate the anxiety of that body for stringent economy, and I need draw attention 
only to their emphasis on certain aspects of the printing and publishing expenses of 
the League. 

If, with a consciousness of these facts, I have ventured to trouble this Committee 
with my resolution, it is because I realise, and I trust I am correct in this reflection, 
that the duty of this Committee extends beyond details of accountancy, and that, in the 
absence of any definite authority specifically charged with the co-ordination of the 
general expenditure of the League and the assigning of relative priorities to various 
schemes propounded before and approved by the League, it must be the aim of this Com- 
mittee to lay down certain principles for its own guidance and to recommend those 
principles to the consideration of the other Committees so that the labours of all the 
Committees and organisations charged with expenditure may be focussed and a conspectus 
obtained of the activities of the League organisations and the scope and limit of such 
activities. I desire, at the outset, to point out that the resolution which I propose 
moving is recommendatory in language and in spirit, and that it is not my ob]<ct to 
impose a check on really legitimate expenses or even thwart the propor extensions of the 
work of the League. The limits that 1 have indicated are not, therefore, laid down in 
any hard-and-fast manner. Obviously it cannot be the object of my delegation unduly 
to restrict the scope of the League's work, inasmuch as my country has throughout 
pleaded that, notable as has been the work turned out by the League, it should in the 
future, even more than in the past, enlist by well conceived expansions of its activity 
the enthusiastic support and co-operation of countries separated by great distances 
from the normal sphere of the League's work. It is indeed our object to see that a 
wide range of really international activities characterises our labours. The purpose of 
my resolution is only to secure conservation of energies so that the various Committees 
of the League may so direct their enquiries that ail efforts may be concentrated on a few 
outstanding matters whose treatment of the problems may be charactensed by thorough- 
ness and efficiency. As 1 have already stated, there is no authority save the League 
itself which can impose any priorities with regard to the various items of expenditure ; 
hut it is permissible for me to state that, if a resolution like the one with which 1 am 
charged is passed, we can ensure that commitments already incurred are thoroughly and 
completely discharged before responsibility is accepted for new enquiries or researches 
which, albeit they are intrinsically valuable, may involve freeh expenditure. It is from 
this point of view, and having regard to the composition and the necessary limits of the 
jurisdiction of the League's various authorities, that I have endeavoured to approach the 
problems by means of an agreed imposition of a maximum limit. I repeat again that it is 
not my desire either to minimise the importance or the varied and beneficient activities 
of the League or to suggest any arbitrary curtailment of any of them, especially of such 
as those on which the Assembly has already pronounced its opinion. 

India naturally is deeply interested in the financial administration of the League. 
I am sure it is realised that my country is one of the largest contributors at the present 
moment to the funds of the League and comes only behind Great Britain, France, Italy, 
and Japan at the moment. It will be remembered that the budget of the League for 
1927 is 24,615,097 gold francs as against 22,930,633 gold francs for 1926. There is thus 

desirable to kept in view a miximum limit of expenditure with the object of securing that 
the contributions of individual States shall not normally in future exceed their contribu- 
tions for the current year ; that the maximum expenditure to be kept in view should, in 
effect, approximate to the total expenditure for 1926, with such adjustments as may be 
necessitated by additions to or withdrawals from the number of contributory States 
Members ; and that copies of this Eesolution should be communicated to other Committed 
concerned with measures inyolYing expenditure," 


an increase of 1,700,000 gold francs or about 7 per cent, distributed between the Inter- 
national Labour Organisation, the Secretariat and the permanent organisations of the 
League, the former being increased by 32 posts and the latter by 17. There is no 
gainsaying that there is a tendency on the part of the budget, as there is a natural 
tendency on the parts of all budgets, to increase. It is true that the welcome entrance of 
Germany into the League will have its effect on the framing of the budget, and it is 
equally true that the increase is partly accounted for by the inevitable increments of 
salary and the increase in the Provident Fund, It is not the intention of the Indian 
Delegation to criticise the increase in staff, nor to put forward specific recommendations 
as to staff or any other topics at this stage. It is their sole function and mandate to 
point out that most of the States Members have had to exeicise the most rigid economy 
in respect of their national affairs, and they confidently expect that the League will 
furnish a most conspicuous example to all the nations of the world of a careful admi- 
nistration of its finances inasmuch as such a process is bound to have a good effect on 
public opinion amongst all the countries concerned. Also it must be remembered that 
though the finances of the League may no doubt be improved by the admission of 
Germany, it is possible I hope only remotely possible that one contribution of 29 units 
may lapse. Thus, considering the present financial position of the component parts of 
the League and the likely developments of the League's own responsibilities, I trust that 
my proposition that a maximum limit of expenditure should be kept in view, and that 
the contributions of individual States should not normally exceed their contributions for 
the current year, will be accepted. It will be noticed that by the use of the expressions 
11 keep in view" and " normally " I safeguard all legitimate expansions, the main thing 
which I am anxious to guard against being that new grants should not be approved 
which would have the effect of increasing the contributions of States Members when 
readjustments are finally made consequent upon admissions into and withdrawals from 
the League. 

My final remark is that in order to ensure that the great spending Committees and 
this Committee should help and co-operate with each other in the attainment of these 
objects, which, I feel confident, will commend themselves to all of them, that copies of 
this resolution should, if passed by this Committee, be communicated to the other Com- 
mittees, so that all of us may conduct our proceedings with the same definite ends in 
view. In that connection may 1 venture to quote the remark of the Secretary-General 
reported in the 1926 Report of the Supervisory Committee: "The Secretary-General 
informed the Commission that, barring unforeseen events, the League budget bad now 
attained practical stability and subsequent variations would be relatively small." My 
resolution is in effect an endorsement and recommendation of this idea. 

If, after taking account of the contributions of Germany and the decrease and 
possible withdrawals, and not forgetting possibilities in connection with the building 
fund, we endeavour definitely to stabilise our budget, I shall have fulfilled my object. 

Report of & Speech by Sir C. P. Rantdswartt Ayjar in the Fourth Committee on the 
20th September 1926. (Posts for Indians in the League Secretariat and International Labour 

If I intervene during the discussion on the budget of the International Labour 
Organisation, it is not that I am oblivions of the fact that India is represented by Sir 
Atnl Chatterjee on the Governing Council of the Organisation by which the preparation 
of the Labour Budget is supervised. I also realise that it is not the function of this Com- 
mittee, or even of the Assembly, to fetter the discretion of the League authorities in 
making specific appointments, which, of course, will be filled with almost exclusive 
advertence to the question of efficiency. It is also true that it is not easy to get persons, 
especially for the smaller posts, from distant countries, and question of passages cannot 
be overlooked. As, however, on the last occasion when the budget was discussed very 
powerful arguments were advanced by the delegates of various countries as to the need 
for the representation of all the nations of the world in the offices of the League, I desire 
to take this opportunity to emphasise and bring to the notice of the League authorities 
the claims of Indians for employment. 1 do 00, not on the narrow ground of India's 


comparatively large contribution and its regularity in making that contribution, but, as 
has been referred to by more than one speaker, it ia useful to make every Member of the 
League feel that all the nations of the world have a fair chance in the matter, other things 
being equal. It is my intention, finally, to point out that this is one of the means by 
which citizens of my country will receive training in international work if some of its 
men who have the necessary qualifications are given the opportunity to work m Geneva. 
Their presence here will also serve to link together even more closely my distant country 
with this world-organisation. 

I conclude, as I began, by repeating that my aim is not to criticise what has been 
done, but to make suggestions to the appointing authorities in the League, relying fully, 
as indeed was evident from the Secretary-Generars speech the other day, that they are 
animated by the same ideas to which I have endeavoured to give expression. 

Report of a Speech by Sir Basanta Mulhck in the Fifth Committee on ihe 9th 
September 1926. (Opium and other Dangerous Drugs.) 

As India is a State in which opium is grown, 1 venture to give some account of 
the steps which we have taken to give effect to the Hague COD vent ion and the Geneva 
Convention of 1925. It is necessary to remember that the are,i of India ib about 
1,800,000 square miles, and that its population is nearly 319,000,000. Communications 
are not so perfect as in most countries in Europe, and the habit of eating opium has 
been established for some centuries. Bearing these conditions in mind, and also the fact 
that legislation is apt to defeat itself if unduly in advance of public opinion, I think 
we may justly claim that India has done her duty in the matter of opium. 

I will address myself first to the question of the acroage under cultivation. In 
1906 the acreage under cultivation was 614,000 acres. By 1923 the acreage had been 
reduced to H2,000 acres, and in view of the diminution in the demand for opium the 
Government of India is now arranging for the further restriction of cultivation. 

In the matter of control over the export of opium I have to state that between 
1908 and 1913 the Government of India placed a limit on the total export to all destina- 
tions. The Convention of 1912 prescribed among other provisions for the control of the 
export of raw opium that it was not to be exported to States which prohibited its import, 
and that when a State controls its import, export to that State shall be controlled 
accordingly. These provisions have always been strictly observed by the Govern- 
ment of India, and since 1915 the Government of India have gradually substituted 
for the sale by auction a system of direct sale to the States where there is a demand 
for Indian opium. The system of direct sales has now been completed with the con- 
clusion of an agreement with the Government of French Indo-China, and the auctions 
of opium for export which used to be held at Calcutta have been discontinued from 
April 1926. The whole of the opium now exported for other than medical or scientific 
purposes is now sold under the system of direct sale to foreign Governments. In this 
connection it will be remembered that in 1923 the Government of India, acting 
according to the recommendations of the League of Nations, adopted the import 
certificate system, by which licences for the export of opium were only obtainable 
if a certificate of approval had been obtained from the Government of the importing 
country. Thus, not only the opium that was sold by direct arrangement with foreign 
purchasing Governments but also the residue that, up to April last, was sold by auction 
in Calcutta, was exported under a guarantee from the importing Government. Our 
foreign purchasers were for the most part the Governments of Malay, Hong Kong, Ceylon, 
the State of North Borneo, Sarawak, the Netherlands East Indies, Siam and French Indo- 
China, and in order to give effect to the Protocol drawn up in Geneva in 1925 by the 
Conference on Opium and Drugs, the Government of India announced on the let 
September 1925 that they were prepared to accept some measure of responsibility evsn 
for illicit export covered by import certificates, and to prohibit or restrict export, even 
where foreign Governments were prepared to furnish a certificate, if there was evidence 
that the opium was finding its way into the illicit trade. The Government of India bad 
already before this prohibited export to two countries, but in order to guard against 
any invidious distinction! and againit the necessity of differentiating and selecting 


oonntrlei on whom restrictions should be placed, the Government of India have now 
decided to adopt a progressive all-round reduction and ultimate extinction of exports 
to all destinations, except for medical and scientific purposes, and they have fixed the 
short term of 10 years as the period within which the suppression and extinction of 
exports shall be completed. The total exports of 1926 will accordingly be reduced by 
10 per cent, each subsequent year, so that the last export will take place in 1926. 

It will be seen, therefore, that the Government of India are fulfilling their inter- 
national obligations in the widest possible manner and are acting fully in accordance 
with the general trend of international opinion and with the views that have been 
expressed both in India and in Europe in the matter of securing the improvement of the 
world situation in regard to the trade in opium and its derivative drugs. 

I b"g the Committee's leave next to refer shortly to the control of internal distribu- 
tion. The legislation on the subject is elaborate, and the manufacture, possession, 
transport, import and export and sale of opium, except as permitted by rules framed 
under the Opium Act, are punishable with various penalties extending to rigorous im- 
prisonment. The policy of the Government of India is to limit consumption firstly 
by contiolling the cultivation of the plant, and secondly, by steadily raising the retail 
price up to the point when the risk of smuggling becomes unduly great. With this 
object their steady policy is to reduce the local limits of private possession, and to 
diminish the number of shops where opium is sold under licence. Since 1910 the issue 
prices have been enhanced to two or three times what they were before, and the number 
of shops has been reduced by about one-third, and the rate of consumption seems to be 
gradually approximating to the level indicated by western science as the standard for 
modern countries. Success has only been possible because public opinion is strongly 
opposed to the abuse of opium. But in many parts of the country opium is eaten as a 
sedative and for quasi-medical purposes, and an attempt to introduce complete prohibition 
would be certain to fail on account of the conditions which at present prevail. We 
cannot drive the unsatisfied consumer into the hands of the smuggler or the manufacturer 
of morphine, cocaine, and other drugs, far more dangerous than opium. I may, however, 
state, for the information of the Committee, that the Government of India have recently 
been in consultation with Provincial Governments with regard firstly to the advisability 
of a policy of co-ordinating administrations with regard to the retail prices of opium, 
and secondly, the desirability of further checking consumption in local areas. It has 
been suggested here to-day that the Government of India should prohibit altogether the 
sale of opium except for medical or scientific purposes, but under present conditions 
that goal is unattainable. In some parts ceremonial usages on social and religious 
occasions demand the use of opium. The registration of medical practitioners, where 
there are any, is very imperfect, and above all there is. in fact, among the bulk of the 
population no abuse of the drug. Indeed, the ravages resulting from the excessive use 
of alcohol, not to say drugs such as cocaine and morphine, are incomparably more serious 
than those due to opium. 

But notwithstanding these local conditions it is a matter for congratulation that there 
has in fact been a marked decline in recent years in the consumption per head. The 
amount now consumed in British India per head is about 18 grains, whereas in 1895 it 
was 27 grains. Eighteen grains per head represents about 1 gramme, and the Medical 
Committee of the Geneva Conference thought it desirable that for medical and scientific 
purposes countries possessing a highly organised system of medical assistance should allow 
45 grammes of opium at 10 per cent, morphine content. As Indian opium contains a 
lower morphine content than that produced in other countries, and as a considerable 
quantity is used for the treatment of cattle and horses, of which it is estimated that there 
are two per unit of the population, it is evident that there is not a very great margin 
between the consumption per head in India and that estimated by the Medical Committee 
as reasonable for medical and scientific requirements, and that there is no reason to 
suspect that there is any grave and widespread abuse of the drug. 

With regard to the use of prepared opium, that is to say opium used for smoking, it 
may be stated that the people of India do not indulge in this practice, which they regard 
as a vice. The habit is not native to the country, and is rarely found save among the 
disreputable, and it is always severely repressed. Some opium-smoking does exist in 
Burma and Assam, and the local Governments of those Provinces have framed laws and 
regulations which effectively deal with the evil. Iii Burma the local Government has not 
since April 1921 allowed prepared opium to be sold in the Government shops. It has 
enforced a system of registration and rationing of all consumers, whether eaters or smokers, 
and since 1914 no person who is not so registered is allowed to possess prepared opium. 
Bach smoker is attached to one shop only and is strictly rationed. 


In Aflifim smoking dent have been inppregsed by legislation making the MMmbly of 
three or more persons for the purpose of smoking opium a penal offence. Legislation on 
these lines has also been adopted by the Legislative Councils of the Punjab, the United 
Provinces, and the Central Provinces. 

I venture, therefore, to hope that the Committee will agree that the Government of 
India have fulfilled to their utmost the obligations undertaken both at the Hague 
Convention of 1912 and the Geneva Convention, 1925, and that they have fully dis- 
charged their duty in the matter of the export of the drag and its consumption within the 
territories under its control. 

I wish, however, that I could say that the future with regard to the consumption 
of deleterious drugs was as bright. 

India does not manufacture any dangerous drugs from opium except for medical 
and scientific purposes. This manufacture is strictly controlled in a Government factory, 
and the outturn is used either for home consumption or for export to the United 
Kingdom. The reports, however, show that there has been a dangerous increase of the 
import both of cocaine and morphine into India, but it will suffice to deal only with the 
subject of cocaine. The use of this drug is controlled by the various provincial Excisa 
Acts, and its illicit possession is punishable with imprisonment for various terms. Not- 
withstanding these protective statutes 1,656 ozs. of cocaine were seized by the Customs 
authorities at Indian ports in 1923, 1,725 in 1924 and 3,680 in 1925, and it is estima- 
ted that the quantity actually imported must be many tinvs as great. At page 10, 
Annexure 12, of the Report of the Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and other 
Dangerous Drugs, prepaid at Geneva on 20th July 1926, there is a short account of 
oases brought to the notice of the local Governments of the Punjab, the Bombay Presi- 
dency and Bengal, and I have in my hand a statement which shows that for the whole 
of India in 1922-3 the total number of cases prosecuted was 964, and that the quantity 
of cocaine in question was certainly not less than 1,976 ozs. In 19234 there were 1,015 
oases and the quantity was 485 ozs., and in 1924-5 there were 1,083 cases and the 
quantity was 832 ozs. We apprehend that the whole of this cocaine was imported from 
foreign countries, and that in spite of the most vigilant precautions on the part of the 
Customs and the Police authorities there will be no real improvement unless there is 
ratification of the undertakings required by the Drugs Convention of 1925. I echo 
therefore the plea which has been made in the report now under consideration before ua 
for more rapid progress in bringing into operation the Convention of 1925. 

Immediate action can be taken under Resolution 10 of the Advisory Committee's 
Report for the purpose of establishing closer collaboration in investigating cases. Pro- 
posal were laid before the Advisory Committee for (1) periodical conferences of Police 
authorities, (2) conferences between the manufacturers of drugs and the Chairman of the 
Advisory Committee OD the question of regulation and distribution, and (3) the exchange 
of information as to the identity and methods of shipowners and others who are known 
to have connived at illicit traffic. If it is possible to give effect to any of these pro- 
posals the Government of India will certainly support them whole-heartedly. And I 
need hardly say that I have heard with the greatest satisfaction the announcement made 
to-day by Lord Cecil of the action taken by certain firms in the matter of the insurance 
of cargoes of deleterious drugs. For the pre-ent we have done and are doing all that is 
possible under the circumstances. Whenever cases of smuggling cocaine and other 
dangerous drugs are discovered, and there is evidence available pointing to the country 
of manufacture or shipment, we communicate with the Governments concerned and place 
at their disposal all the evidence that is in onr hands. One Government has after investi- 
gation communicated the results to us, and from another we have received an assurance 
that the cases are under investigation and that the results will be communicated at an 
early date. 

If Lord Cecil's hope that something may be done by international agreement to 
limit and control the export and the consumption of the drugs to which I have referred is 
realised India will indeed have cause to rejoice. 

Report of a Speech by Sir William Vincent in the Sixth Committee on the 23rd September 
1926. (Slavery Convention, Article 3). 

I much regret that I am compelled at this point to make it clear that, pending further 
instructions from my Government, I must make a small reservation in respect of this Arti- 
cle as worded, and I will explain very shortly to the Committee, as I have already done 


to the Sub- Commit tec, my reasons for this course. The Arms Act Convention makes a 
clear distinction between native vessels and other vessels and defines the term native vessel 
as follows : 

A vessel shall be deemed to be a native vessel if she is either owned, fitted out or 
commanded by a native of any country bordering on the Indian Ocean west of 
meridian of 950 East of Greenwich and north of the parallel of 110 South 
Latitude, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, or the Gulf of Oman, or if at least one- 
half of the crew are natives of such countries. 

Now the area referred to in this definition includes the coast of India. Therefore 
all vessels owned by Indians or manned by Indian crews of whatever class or tonnage 
come within the definition of the term native vessels ; but this is not all, for under the 
Convention native vessels under 500 tons are subject to a right of search, to which other 
vessels are not sublet. The reason for this distinction in the Arms Traffic Convention 
was, as I understand, that the States that were parties to that treaty decided not to give 
permits or licences to native vessels under 500 tons in any circumstances to carry arms, 
whereas other vessels were, subject to certain restrictions, allowed to take on this traffic. 
I may say that up to now this Arms Traffic Convention has not been ratified by India, 
but there are additional reasons why the terms of that Convention should not be accepted 
in relation to slavery. In the first place, the slave trade stands on an entirely different 
footing from the arms traffic, and whereas in certain circumstances the latter is legitimate, 
in no case, whether the slaves are carried on a native or any other vessel, is the slave trade 
anything but criminal, and there is no reason to give any class of vessel any special 
privilege or exemption. In the second place, it would not be consonant with the dignity 
of India to accept a Convention which clearly places them in a position of inferiority and 
which suggests that Indian ships are not entitled to be treated in exactly the same manner 
and with the same consideration as the ships of other Powers. There is no slave trade off 
the coast of India and Indian ships are not employed for this traffic. The country is a 
civilised country with an efficient civilised administration, and cannot with justice be 
treated with less consideration than any other Power that is a Member of the League. I 
cannot accept for one moment the suggestion that Indian ships should be treated different- 
ly from, say, British, French or Italian ships, or that they are, either by reason of any 
kind of connection with the slave trade or by reason of any difference in the system of 
government or control over navigation, not entitled to exactly the same consideration as 
the ships of other countries. It is true that the Article stipulates that necessary adapta- 
tions may be made in the Convention, but this refers, I apprehend, only to adaptations 
necessary to convert an agreement made for one purpose into one now intended for 
another. Anxious as I am to do all that is possible to facilitate effective action against 
the slave trade, I regret, in the absence of instructions, to have to make a reservation in 
respect of this Article. 

The reservation I propose to make is in the following terms : 

I also declare that my signature is not binding in respect of Article 3, in so far 
as that Article may require India to enter into an agreement which would place her 
vessels in a position different from that of other State Signatories of the Convention. 

It will be seen that this will not prevent India from being a party to the Conven- 
tion and it is owing to the sincere desire of India not only not to be obstructive but to 
render every assistance in the suppression of slavery and the slave trade that I have 
not piessed my objection to the whole Article, but, reducing my reservation to a minimum, 
made one stipulation necessary in my judgment in the interests of the self-respect and 
dignity of the great country which I have the honour of representing. I have decided, 
I may add, that it is not necessary for me to press two other reservations which I made in 

Declaration by Sir William Vincent in the Sixth Committee on tht 23rd September 1926. 
(Exclusion of Indian States end certain madministered tracts of British India from certain 
Articles or the Slavery Convention.) 

The Indian Delegation proposes to sign this Convention subject to an excluding 
declaration in the following terms :-~ 



" Under the terms of Article 9 of this Convention, I declare that my signature ia 
not binding as regards the enforcement of the provisions of Article 2, sub-section (ft), 
Articles 5, 6, and 7 of this Convention upon the following territories, namely : In 
Burma, the Naga tracts lying west and south of the Hukawng Valley, bounded on the 
north and west by the Assam boundary, on the east by the Nanphuk River and on the 
south by the Singaling Hkamti and the Somra tracts ; in Assam, the Sadiya and Balipara 
frontier tracts, the tribal area to the east of the Naga Hills district, up to the Burma 
boundary, and a small tract in the south of the Lushai Hills district ; also on the territo- 
ries in India of any Prince or Chief under the suzerainty oi His Majesty." 

A. The exclusion of the unad ministered tracts is necessary on the following grounds : 

(1) The position in certain unadministered or partially administered frontier tracts 
in northern Burma and Assam WAS explained to the League in a memorandum communi- 
cated to the Fourth Assembly (Document A 18, 1923, VI), and referred to in para, 90 of 
the Report of the Temporary Slavery Commission (A 19, 1925, VI), communicated to the 
Sixth Assembly. The population of these tracts cannot be stated as they have not been 
fully explored, but on a rough estimate the population of these in Assam is not more 
than 100,000, 

(2) Generally speaking, the Government of India cannot undertake obligations to 
embark on the conquest of unexplored or partly explored regions inhabited by primitive 
aboriginals, amongst whom slavery, or practices akin to slavery, are believed to exist, but 
are prepared to accept the obligation to exercise all peaceful influence to suppress them as 
opportunity occurs. 

(3) A proof of the desire of the Government of India to suppress remaining traces 
of slavery was given by the action of the Government of Bui ma in the Hukawng Valley, 
of which an account was given to the Sixth Assembly in a memorandum (Document 
A 60, 1925, VI). Further action has since been taken in this direction by the Govern* 
ment of Burma. Steps are also being taken to bring about the disappearance of prac- 
tices savouring of slavery in the Lushai Hills of Assam, in which they still exist. 

(4) The Government of India cannot, however, accept the definite obligations 
imposed by Articles 2(6). 5, 6 and 7 in respect of these unadministered areas. The Indian 
Delegation, therefore, has instructions on signing the Convention to specify in an exclu- 
ding declaration under Article 9 of the Convention the geographical areas to which the 
obligations of these Articles will not apply. 

(5) The declaration of exclusion is so worded as to admit of separate accession on 
account of these territories when the circumstances are such as to enable the Government of 
India to fulfil the obligations of the Convention in respect to them. 

B. That part of the declaration which excludes the Indian States is necessary on 
the following grounds : 

(1) The internal administration of these States is in the hands of their own rulers, 
but the exact relations in which each State stands to the Government of the King-Emperor 
are dependent on individual circumstances and cannot be briefly explained. The Indian 
Legislature cannot legislate for these States. 

(2) Recent enquiries have satisfied the Government of India that slavery in the 
ordinary sense is not now practised in any Indian States, and that, where conditions are 
present which may be held to amount to forced labour of the kind against which the 
Convention is directed, no serious abuses exist and progress is in fact being made in 
removing or mitigating such conditions. 

(3) The draft Convention, however, imposes obligations upon the Signatory States 
which would involve, in the case of India, direct interference with the domestic administra- 
tion of the Indian States. The Government of India would be prepared to urge the 
Rulers of those States to initiate measures of reform if they had reason to believe that 
gross abuses existed in any of them. But they do not consider that the conditions 
revealed by their recent enquiries would justify interference to secure full enforcement of 
the provisions of the Slavery Convention as regards forced labour. 

(4) On the other hand, it is to be clearly understood that in many States the standard 
aimed at by the Convention has already been attained and that in all other States steady 
progress is being effected both by public opinion and by the spontaneous action of the 

(5) The Government of India will not fail to bring to the notice of the Rulers of 
Indian States the provisions accepted for India (other than the Indian States) under the 
Convention, together with suitable recommendations. 


Report oj a Speech by Str William Vincent m the Assembly on the 25th September 1926. 
(Report of 'the Sixth Committee on the Slavery Convention.) 

I am advised that it is incumbent on me to read out here certain reservations which 
India will make on signing this Convention. I am not satisfied that this is strictly 
necessary or that this practice has always been followed in the past. Bnt ex majori cautela, 
I am prepared on the present occasion to adopt this course. 

"Under the terms of Article 9 of this Convention, I declare that my signature is 
not binding as regards the enforcement of Article 2, subsection (&), Articles 5, 6 and 7 
of this Convention upon the following territories, namely: In Burma, the Naga tracts 
lying west and south of the Hukawng Valley, bounded on the north and west by the 
Assam boundary, on the east by the Nanphuk River and on the south by the Singaling 
Hkamti and the Somra tracts ; in Assam, the Sadiya and Balipara frontier tracts, the 
tribal area to the east of the Naga Hills district, up to the Burma boundary, and a small 
tract in the south of the Lushai Hills district; nor on the territories in India of any 
Prince or Chief under the suzerainty of His Majesty. 

" I also declare that my signature to the Convention is not binding in respect of 
Article 3 in so far as that Article may require India to enter into any Convention whereby 
vessels, by reason of the fact that they are owned, fitted out or commanded by Indians, 
or of the fact that one-half of the crew is Indian, are classified as native vessels or are 
denied any privilege, right or immunity enjoyed by similar vessels of other States 
Signatories of the Covenant or are made subject to any liability or disability to which 
similar ships of such other States are not subject." 

But, Sir, it is not only these reservations, but the great importance of the resolution 
under discussion which justifies my taking a few moments of your time to-day to explain 
the attitude of India on this question of slavery. I regard this Convention as a tangible 
and effective achievement of great moment, and as a practical illustration to the world 
in one direction at least of the great work done for humanity by the League. 1 have no 
desire to enter into the history of previous efforts to eradicate the slave trade and slavery, 
but the truth is that in vaiious forms and disguises it still does subsist in certain parts 
of the world, and the present Convention, if it is accepted, as we hope it v*ill be, by the 
Powers here present, constitutes a defimt3 advance not only in increasing the effectiveness 
of measures against the slave trade proper and eradicating slavery generally, but in 
preventing and putting a stop to those more insidious forms of servitude which approxi- 
mate to slavery though called by other names. The principles laid down, particularly 
in regard to forced labour, taken with the action of the International Labour Bureau, 
cannot fail to have far.reacbmg effects throughout the world, and so far as 1 know this 
is the first occasion on wnich a definite undertaking, or at any rate so complete an under- 
taking, in regard to forced labour has been accepted. I refer particularly to forced labour 
for private purposes. May I say that India heartily welcomes the conclusion of this 
Convention, and is glad to undertake the duty of making every effort to root out condition! 
of servitude which approximate to slavery. 

It is true that we have to make certain reservations on signing the Convention, but 
one of these, which relates only to the search of ships suspected of carrying slaves, need 
in no way impede the execution of an effective agreement on this subject. I can assure 
the Assembly that in fact no I ml i m bhi ps are engaged in the slave trade, and that the 
law of India prohibits slavery and this slave trade under penal clauses of great severity. 
Another reservation we have baen compelled to make is in relation to Indian States and 
a small area of unadminibtered terutory. The reason for this reservation in regard 
to the Indian States is not that slavery is prevalent there, for this is not the case at all. 
but it arises from the constitutional position which those States occupy, a position 
which I have fully explained in the Sixth Committee. The Convention will, however, 
be brought to the notice of all States, and provision exists in the Convention for extend- 
ing its obligations to these areas should this be necessary or desirable in future. In 
the meantime, in the unadministered areas of which I spoke, tracts situated on the 
extreme north-eastern frontier of British India, the population of which is estimated at 
a few hundred thousand persons only, steady systematic efforts are being made by the 
local Governments to eradicate traces of slaveiy and conditions analogous thereto. In 
one of these areas already over 3,000 slaves have been released (last year) on payment of 
substantial compensation to their owners ; in another area a special expedition has been 
Bent this year charged with the mission of securing by persuasion and payment of compen- 
sation the release of all slaves in that territory. 

Bat the efforts of the Government of India have by no means been confined to 
measures of this kind, In other provinces steady progress has for many years been made 


in the direction of measures to prevent any condition of forced labour approaching to 
slavery, or even likely to lead to oppression. Forced labour for private par poses has no 
legal recognition in India. In the province in which the greater part of my career in 
India was spent, where forced labour was in some parts exacted as a predial obligation, 
and also in lien of debt, the predial obligation has been commuted into each payments 
and an enactment passed which prohibits any kind of servitude for debt or the enforce- 
ment of contracts of that nature. Similar efforts have been made in other parts of India, 
and indeed the enforcement by penal sanctions of any form of indentured labour or of 
contracts to labour has been abolished. Generally it may be said that the Government 
of India has made, and will continue to make every effort to get rid of the evils against 
which this Convention is directed. 

Lastly, may I say that such has been the moral influence of the work of the League 
and of the high ideals for which it stands, that I eaw in the Times the other day a 
statement, and I have no reason whatever to doubt it, that the State of Ne pal, an inde- 
pendent State not in India but on the northern frontier, has recently completed the 
liberation of 59,000 slaves at a cost of 875,000 paid by the State. That is a result on 
which the State of Nepal may, I think, be congratulated, and is clear evidence of the 
influence of the League in the East. 

My object in placing these details before you is to indicate by direct evidence that 
India, if apt to scrutinise with jealousy any agreement which proposed, has gone a great 
way towards the goal which the Convention seeks to obtain. If we examine the terms of 
these agreements in detail, it is because we are careful to enter into no solemn under- 
taking which we are not prepared fully to implement, and because we have also to consi- 
der the effect of such an agreement on a vast population, one-fifth of the population of 
the world, living in very varying conditions* and permeated bv varying traditions and 
customs. But, as I have said, India is behind no State in its desire to eradicate slavery, 
and if the present Convention does not meet the approbation of all, it achieves a great 
deal. Further, should necessity arise in the future it can, and no doubt will, be supple- 
mented by further agreements until slavery and conditions akin to it, truly described 
in the Committee as a crime against the human race, are utterly and wholly rooted out. 

Indian Journalist's Invitation. 

In June 1926 the League of Nations officially sent an invitation to Mr. 
Ramananda Chatterjee, Editor of the Modern Review to come to Geneva 
for the purpose of undertaking a study of the League. Mr. Chatteriee accepted 
the invitation. The object of the invitation is stated in the following para- 
graph from the letter addressed to Mr. Ghatterjoe by the Secretary-General, 
League of Nations : 

" It is of course obvious that there is no intention of interfering with 
your independent judgment. The policy of the Secretariat is to try 
to secure responsible representative journalists, more especially 
from distant countries with whom contact is necessarily more diffi- 
cult, to spend sometime in Geneva in order to become acquainted 
with the League's work and Constitution and thus be in a position 
on their return home to follow its proceedings with understanding." 

Indians in South Africa 

ID the following pages we would draw the attention of our reader to 
an important contribution, sent to the Indian Press for publication, by Mr. P. 
Subramania Aiyar, editor, The African Chronicle. As the ' Hindu ' of Madras 
says, he writes on the subject of Indians in South Africa with intimate 
knowledge of the question and of the existing situation. Further his views 
are those of our nationals in the Union and therefore they deserve the 
anxious consideration of this country, because in anything that we do we 
should be guided by the feelings and opinions of those whose cause we 
espouse. The Government of India have not been quite alert in the matter 
of the Colour Bar Bill, and Sir Devaprasad Sarvadhikari has made matters 
worse by declaring that the effect of that measure would not be a hundredth 
of that of the anti- Asiatic Bill. That is a view which is quite wrong ; besides 
being grossly incorrect, it does grave injustice to Indians engaged in business, 
especially in techiiical occupations, whose future is jeopardised by the 
Colour Bar Bill. Mr. Subramania Aiyar asks, as Lord Olivier has done on 
many occasions, how Indians could raise their standards of living if they are 
shut out of skilled industries and denied every facility for training ? It is 
therefore disingenuous for white settlers to insist on Indians raising their 
standard of living, while at the same time preventing them from engaging 
themselves in remunerative occupations. There was again the Industrial 
Conciliation Act which has already had the effect of throwing a number of 
Indians out of employment because it was impossible for Indian concerns to 
pay the minimum wages fixed for various industries. There were also the 
traders' licensing laws which have been oppressively used and have had the 
effect of squeezing out Indians. And the educational policy of the Union 
was designed to deny all means of enlightenment to the Indian children. How 
narrow and wicked are the restrictions imposed will be sesn from a perusal 
of that portion of the article relating to this subject. The following is the full 
text of the article : 

Mr. Subramania Aiyar's Views. 

11 The Indian community in South Africa allowed sufficient time to elapse 
in order to enable the public in Motherland to cool down the transient excite- 
ment caused by the suspension of the Asiatic Bill on recommendation from 
the Paddison Deputation in concurrence with the Hertzog Government. 
The Indian community in the Union, though keenly alive to the reality of 
the situation, despite the postponement of the Bill to a future date, was 
very anxious not to thrust their views thus hampering the work of the 
Paddison Deputation. As a proof of their earnestness to give a free hand 
to the activities of the Government of India, a special session of the South 
African Indian Congress that was to be held at the end of June 1926, was 
adjourned in order to convince the world that the Indian community mean 
to abide by their solemn undertaking. Even the "Natal Mercury" news* 
paper in an editorial, had to admit recently, that the Indians have been 
orupulously adhering to their part of the compact, However, while the 


Paddison Deputation was in this country, most of the negotiations between 
the Deputation and the Union Government were conducted in Capetown* 
and the Executive of the South African Indian Congress, the Headquarters 
of which are at Durban, could not get that opportunity which is indispensable 
for giving a lucid exposition of the complex operation of the laws now in 
existence that have a tendency to eliminate the Indian population. 
No South African in the Conference. 

" But, the Executive of the Indian Congress naturally thought that in 
any future negotiations that might take place, concerning the ultimate deci- 
sion of the fate of the Indian community they would be duly represented. 
However, that is not to be. The following cable correspondence that took 
place between Mr. Kajee, Secretary of the South African Indian Congress and 
the Government of India throws considerable light on the situation. Mr. 
Kajee, in a cable dated the 23rd day of May 1926, addressed the Government 
of India as follows : "Am directed by the Executive to make representations 
in the matter of Round Table Conference to bo held between India and the 
Union, whether the Indian community in the Union will be entitled represen- 
tation at the Conference. Am instructed to urge that seeing that conference 
is going to deal with vital issues concerning our present and future destiny 
claims for participation in the conference by representatives of Congress. 
Hope Indian Government attention will engage this request and steps to be 
taken in the desired direction. As Congress Conference being held shortly 
consider question please reply." 

"The Government of India, in their cable dated the 3rd June, 1926, 
replied as follows : " Telegram dated 25th May. Personnel of conference is 
still under consideration and will take some time to settle. Government of 
India are fully alive to the importance to Indian community in South Africa 
of proposed discussion but as Congress are aware, formula agreed upon 
between the Government of India and the Union Government is beside for 
proposed conference provides for participation therein only of representatives 
of two Governments. Government of India therefore regret that it will not 
be possible to press for inclusion in the conference of representatives of the 
Congress, as representing the Indian community in the Union. They will 
however be glad to receive any views which Congress might wish to put 
forward on question of interest to the community and if necessary to com- 
municate those views to their own representatives on the conference." 

" Perhaps many in Inrlia may not be aware of the fact that the real etorm 
centre of the anti- Asiatic agitation is in British Natal, where the bulk of 
the Indians reside, and it is there the Britisher have been 
fomenting the anti-Asiatic agitation which has assumed alarming 
dimensions. I would refer the people of India to study the Blue 
Book recently issued by the Select Committee of the Union House of Assemb- 
ly on the Asiatic Bill and the public would be thoroughly convinced of the 
bitterness of feeling displayed by the British section of people towards the 
Indian race on the whole. If the Paddison Deputation had ascertained the 
views of the Indians prior to their becoming a consenting party to this 
agreement, the present dubious aspect of the question (from the standpoint 
of Indians) would have undergone a considerable modification. However, 
even after the conclusion of this agreement, the Indian community laboured 
under the impression that their trusted representative would be given an 
opportunity to place their cafe in all its bearings but seeing that this is going 


to be a conference of the two Governments} it should not be surprising to 
hear that the Indian community in the Union are much perturbed over the 
prospects awaiting them. 

The Formula. 

" It is necessary indeed that one should have a full knowledge of the 
meaning underlying the agreement made between the two Governments and 
so I quote tbe full text of it below : 

" The Government of the Union of South Africa and the Government 
of India have been further in communication with each other regarding the 
best method of arriving at an amicable solution of the Indian problem. The 
Government of tbe Union have impressed on the Goverment of India that 
public opinion in South Africa will not view with favour any settlement 
which does not hold a reasonable prospect of safeguarding the maintenance 
of Western standard of life by just and legitimate means. The Government 
of India are prepared to assist in exploring all possible methods of settling 
the Asiatic question and have offered to enter into a conference with the 
Union Government for the purpose. Any proposals that the conference 
might make would be subject to confirmation by the Government of the two 
countries. The Union Government have accepted the offer of the Govern- 
ment of India and in order to ensure that the conference should meet under 
the best auspices, have decided, subject to the approval of the Select Com- 
mittee and Parliament not to proceed further with the Areas Reservation 
and Immigration and Registration Further Provisions Bill, until the results of 
the Conference are available. 1 ' 

" It would indeed be evident that both parties* pending a settlement of 
the whole issue at a Round Table Conference, undertook to observe armed 
neutrality and that there was an implied understanding that neither the one 
nor the other would, during the interregnum, disturb the status quo. I am 
sure no impartial critic would place any other interpretation than the one 
which the Indian community has placed on the western standard formula that 
has been agreed to by both the parties. But the Government of the Union 
and curiously enough the Government of India also apparently have their 
own different interpretation which is really difficult for us to comprehend. 

The Colour Bar Bill. 

" After the departure of the Paddison Deputation, the Colour Bar Bill 
was placed on the Statute Book. The Indian community was under the 
impression that India took effective steps to protest against it, but to our 
amazement, we learned from so august a personage as Lord Birkenhead, 
that the India Office could not help in the matter. However, the most 
astounding news to the Indians in the Union is Mr. Raza All's attitude after 
his return to India and his statement in the Press on the Colour Bar Bill. 
If his version of the story could be construed as the opinion of the Govern- 
ment of India, then I venture to say that his reading of the situation in 
South Africa is entirely wrong, and it is time that he acquires a more intimate 
grasp of the various cross currents that are at work, in compassing the ruin 
of our countrymen in this country. Mr. Raza Ali says that " judged from 
their practical effect on our countrymen in South Africa, the Colour Bar Bill 
is not one-hundredth as mischievous and dangerous as the Areas Reservation 
Bill." And he maintains that it is applicable only to the natives working on 
the mines in the Transvaal. In order to enlighten the public at home, as to 


the scope and the extraordinary nature of the Act which has become operative 
now, I quote below the most important sections from the Mines and Works 
Amendment Act, better known as the Colour Bar Bill : 

1 Section (l) The Regulations under paragraph 

(n) may provide that in such Provinces : areas or places as may be 
specified in the Regulations, certificates of competency in any occupations 
referred to in that paragraph, shall be granted only to the following classes 
of persons, namely, 

(a) Europeans. 

(b) Persons born in the Union and ordinarily resident in the Province 
of the Cape of Good Hope, who are members of the class or race known 
as Cape CoJoureds or of the class or race known as Cape Malays. 

(o) The people known as Mauritian Creoloes or St. Helena Persons, 
or their descendants born in the Union '. 

" The foregoing quotations are from the Statute Book of the Union of 
South Africa, and any man, of common intelligence, could understand that 
the Act in question, while expressly making provision for the Malays, 
Mauritian Creoloes, and other cross-breeds to be employed in skilled and 
semi-skilled industries, studiously excludes the Asiatic from all industrial 
occupations. Realising the danger threatening the industrial rights of the 
Indian community, the South African Indian Congress made pressing re- 
presentations to the Governor-General, as well as to the Government of India, 
praying to withhold Royal Assent to the said Bill. The following reply 
from the Secretary for Mines indicates how even the Government of the 
Union of South Africa look upon our just apprehensions under this Act. 
The following ia the full text of the reply from the Department of Mines 
and Industries, dated the 25th May 1926 to the Secretary of the South 
African Indian Congress : 

"With reference to your telegram dated the 1 1th instant, addressed 
to His Excellency the Governor-General, regarding the Mines and Works 
Amendment Bill, I am directed to inform you that it is the intention 
of the Government in due course to consider the issue of Regulations 
to restore at all events the status quo as it existed before the Courts 
declared certain regulations ultra vires. This is necessary in the interests 
of health and safety. There is no present intention of extending the 
regulations beyond the position as it existed prior to the Courts judg- 
ment. Should any such extension be contemplated in the future, every 
reasonable opportunity will be given to all parties in the Union interested 
in the matter to make representation. In the circumstances no good purpose 
would appear to be served by granting the interview proposed." 

" 1 he foregoing assurance from the Government to the effect that " there 
is no present intention" to extend the scope of the operation of the Act, has 
not allayed the apprehensions of the Indian public, but on the contrary it 
has confirmed the belief that in certain eventualities it will be requisitioned 
for operation with deadly effect to the existence of the whole Indian com- 
munity in the Union of South Africa, which I hope to prove in the course 
of this article. If Mr. Raza AH did not comprehend the undercurrent of 
this Bill I trust he will do so, after the elucidation I have ventured to 
make herein. 

Simla's Blunder. 

" It is scarcely necessary for me to emphasise that seeing the Government 

MR, P. 8. AIYAR'S VIEWS 177 

of India have not taken a strong and emphatic attitude in respect of the 
Colour Bar Billa measure, that has been construed by the Indian com* 
munity as a breach of the agreement* The Indian public opinion is getting 
considerably disquitened, if not exasperated and many are inclined to ques- 
tion whether any good will come out of the proposed Round Table Con- 
ference at all. Not long ago, the Secretary of the South African Indian 
Congress frankly wrote to the Government of India, whether the forthcoming 
Bound Table Conference was seriously intended to be productive of any 
good to the afflicted Indians in the face of such systematic breaches of the 
agreement by the Union Government. 

" Perhaps outsiders who have not suffered the pangs of agony, and borne 
the brunt of political and economic persecution, may not entirely concur 
with the statements, made herein, but when they know the inner history of 
our existence, they would sympathise with us and will also agree that there 
are substantial reasons for our apprehensions. 

" Indeed the Government of India should have either consulted the 
popular leadeis in India, or the South African Indian Congress here, before 
becoming a contracting party to the western standard formula. If they had 
done so, the leaders would have given the right advice as to the line of 
action to be taken in view of the fact that under existing legislation and by 
the operation of the present Acts, the identical policy tending towards the 
Europeanisation of all industry and trades has been silently going on un- 

" The leaders here after discovering the various diplomatic blunders made 
by Delhi, tried to save the situation, by suggesting to include a representa- 
tive of the South African Indians to have a voice at the Round Table Con* 
ference, but from the reply of the Government of India, it appears that 
proposition also has been rendered an impracticable one. 

Western Standards of Living. 

" Let us consider for a moment the purport of the formula agreed upon 
by both Governments and examine whether any us and whether it is not in 
conformity with the existing policy and the operation of laws that have been 
enforced in the Union for a considerable length of time. To begin with, 
under the Immigrants Regulation Act, all Asiatics throughout the whole 
world, irrespective of race or country they hail from have been declared 
unsuited to the Union of South Africa, and styled " prohibited immigrants" 
on account of their " standard of living 1 ' and " economic habits" a 
decision which has been upheld by the highest Court in this land; and as 
such not a single newcomer is allowed to enter the Union of South Africa ; 
and under the authority of the same Act even domiciled Indians are being 
slowly and silently weeded out of the country. No Indians are privileged 
to enter from one province to the other without a special permit which is 
not easy to obtain. In so far as fresh arrivals are concerned, and in so far 
as migration from one province to the other is concerned, it is all closed to 
the Indians. Segregation of the Indians, in their respective provinces, is 
the order of the day, without giving them any opportunity for development, 
either in social, economic, political spheres of activity and now the Union 
Government proposes a formula which imposes conditions of guarantee for 
" safeguarding the maintenance of western standard of life, " and to which 
the Government of India have apparently given their consent o$ if th$ 


Indians had been attacking the citadels of western civilisation and retard- 
ing the progress of the white race. 

" It is a truism in politics that the " maintenance of western standard of 
life/' depends on material wealth. If a community was denied all oppor- 
tunities of development to acquire wealth, they could not maintain " western 
standards of life " however ardently they may wish to do so. In other 
words, it is the opportunity that people gets through commerce and industry 
and the amount of wealth that they acquire thereby that would enable 
a community to maintain " western standards of life." This is a truism 
that all know, and which the Government of India ought to know. Let 
us see how the Indians fare in this country in accordance with the present 
operations of the Laws. 

Minimum Wages. 

11 Traders' Licensing Laws in the various provinces have been worked so 
harshly that it is impossible for an Indian to carry on even long established 
business, and it was only recently a long established Indian trader at 
Estcourt, who is married to a European woman was deprived of his exist- 
ing licence to trade. Notwithstanding his appeal to the Supreme Court, 
the learned Judges held that they could not interfere with the decision of 
the Licensing Officer, though they maintained that the Officer in question 
arbitrarily exercised his discretion. I have quoted this one instance out of 
many to prove how the Indian commercial community is being squeezed 
out, and therefore it must be obvious, that in order to "safeguard the western 
standards of life," the existing licensing laws are made so operative as to 
exterminate the Indian trader altogether. In so far as commerce is concern- 
ed, the Indian has already been elbowed out. In addition to harsh ad- 
ministration of the existing licensing laws, the Hertzog Government have 
brought into force another machinery by which the dealers are compelled 
to pay a certain stipulated wages to their employees, no matter whether 
their business is a plain concern or not. When the Smuts Government 
was in power an enactment entitled the "Industrial Conciliation Act " was 
passed, the object of that measure being to enable organised Trade Unions 
and organised employers of industries to adjust their differences in the 
matter of pay and working hours, arid in the event of both parties reaching 
a unanimous decision, such decision was to be made binding on both 
parties with the sanction of the executive, but it was never intended, as 
General Smuts himself declared in the House of Parliament, that such trade 
agreement should be binding on uon-Union men, not on those who had 
not been a party to such agreement. However, the Labour Minister maintains 
to the contrary and the agreement to which the Indians have never been a 
party, because White Trade Unions would not admit Indians in their Union, 
is forced on them against their will and even the Supreme Court have 
declared their inability to interfere with the decision of the Minister. As a 
result of this decision, a petty Indian trader or factory owner who may not 
be earning a pound a day is called upon to pay his assistant a minimum 
wages in the same ratio as a mill-owner, and our readers may well imagine the 
effect of such legislation on the Indian trade and industry in general. In this 
manner, the Indian commercial community and industrialists are being 
annihilited day by day. 

" There remains only the skilled and semi-skilled industries and ocouption 
in which Indians have been extensively employed in various capacities such 


&n Furniture making, Printing, Painting, Building, Bakery and Biscuit 
Factory, Match and Soap Factory, Leather Industry, and Mechanical Engineer- 
ing, Brick and Cement Industry, Fish curing and Whale Industry and so 

" Under the Industrial Conciliation Act, minimum wages have been 
sanctioned by the Minister in consultation with the White Trade Unions of 
the aforesaid Trades. In order to give the readers an idea of the wages 
fixed for various industries, I give below the minimum rates of one or two 
branches, namely, Printing Industry, 7-2 6 a week, Building Industry, 
1-4-8 a day, and Shop Assistants, 17-10-0 a mouth. The effect of the 
fixation of a such a high tariff is that a very large number of Indians have 
been thrown out of work and a still greater number are awaiting their turn, 
and their places being given in some instances to Europeans, but in the 
majority of cases, it is distributed among Coloured Malays, Creoles, and 
sundry other races. In addition to such a huge army of unemployed, the 
effeet of this administrative action is giving a deathblow to the small Colony 
of Indian established industries ; should Indian workers seek work in Indian 
owned factories, they could not be accommodated because the wages being so 
high, it is impossible for small business with limited output and much less 
opportunity for expansion to accommodate them. Moreover, as a result of 
this latest ingenious operation of the law, some of the Indian owned factories 
have closed down, amongst them, three Indian owned Newspaper Office. In a 
word a large number of skilled and semi-skilled labourers in various branches 
of the industry that employed Indians are right clean out of their job and 
this is all done in the name of " safeguarding the maintenance of western 
standards of life." 

" In the matter of Agricultural pursuits the Indian Community is faring 
worse day by day. It is indeed becoming very difficult for Indians either to 
buy or lease lands and very few Europeans care to deal in land transaction 
with Indians and it is a common occurrence that every land sale is accom- 
panied by an Asiatic Clause prohibiting transfer of land to an Asiatic. 

" Having regard to the foregoing facts, I venture to state that by the 
time the Round Table Conference takes place in Pretoria, the problem that 
will confront the Conference would be not to safeguard the " western 
standards of lifo " but what to do with the thousands of unemployed and 
employable Indian men and women in this country. This is the real problem 
that is going to face the delegates, and I really do not know whether the 
Government and people of India even now realise the effect of the Agreement 
with the Hertzog Government. Therefore, it must be transparent that when 
General Hertzog assured Mr. Andrews or for the matter of that the Govern- 
ment of India that the Colour Bar Bill will not be made operative on the 
Indian " at present," what he had at the back of his mind was that in the 
event of the present armory of legislation such as the Immigration Act, 
Licensing Law, Industrial Conciliation Act, Minimum Wages Act, Appren- 
ticeship Act, etc., not proving sufficiently effective to achieve hia object for 
" safeguarding the maintenance of western standard of life " then alone he 
would put into use the Colour Bar Act which is kept as a Emergency Reserve 
Power. It must indeed be obvious to any person who has eyes to see that 
the multifarious activities of the Indian Community have already been 
brought to a standstill by the operation of the existing Laws in order to 
safeguard the righto of the White raoei alone to exist in this part of the 


British Empire. The only Indian Industry that has hitherto been left un- 
molested was the fishing industry which is exclusively in the hands of the 
Indians, who established it soon after their advent to Natal. Sir Walter 
Page's Commission dated the 19th January 1 885, even recorded in eulogis- 
tic terms about the Indian Fishing Industry and offered the thanks of the 
colonists to the Indian settlers of Salisbury Island. Now a strong agitation 
under the lead of the Fishery Inspector is taking place with the avowed 
object of depriving these Indian fishermen, who are hundreds in number, of 
their means of livelihood. 

" Such is the harrowing tale of Indian existence in this land of plenty and 
sunshine. The existing laws have provided more than ample security for 
" safeguarding western standards " and so, one is naturally tempted to 
question the practical utility of the proposed formulae ! If both parties 
have been sincere in their profession of a settlement of this question, surely 
this is not the basis on which such a complicated issue involving millions of 
pounds, touching the well-being of thousands of people, could be settled. 
Britishers are well-known to be a practical people and even they in their 
calmer moments would admit that it is highly improper to sacrifice the well- 
being of thousands of people and their hard-earned wealth on the altar of 
the shibboleth that goes by the name of " western standard/ 7 

" Should the effect of British statesmanship mean anything it must be 
visible ; but to our regret we find nothing ; and instead the effect of Lord 
Beading's statesmanship has been to augment the army of unemployed and 
ruined business people thus hastening the repatriation of long-established 
Indians without any compensation whatsoever. This is what the Union 
Government desired which they have obtained under this formulae. It is 
really difficult to imagine how any patriotic Indian could be overjoyed at 
this achievement of British statesmanship. 

Curtailing Educational Facilities. 

" While the lot of the existing business and industrial sections of the 
community has been rendered sufficiently ruinous, one would have thought 
that if there was sincerity in the professions of good faith on the basis of the 
" western standard formula" at least the Government and the white people 
of the Union would pay due regard to the future welfare of the Indian chil- 
dren so as to fit them to take their places alongside of other citizens ; but 
from the trend of legislation now on the legislative anvil, it appears that the 
Europeans are obsessed with the same fear against the coming generations 
of Asiatics, and are preparing enactments with a view to " safeguard the 
maintenance of western standards of life " against unborn generations. The 
form it has taken in the direction of curtailing the educational facilities to the 
Indian children and recently the Provincial Council unanimously passed a 
resolution to the effect " that the council is of opinion that European lady 
teachers should not be employed in the Indian schools under the Administ- 
ration's control, and requests the Executive to give effect to this resolution 
ea Eoon as other posts can be found for those now so employed." 

" As the legislators during the course of the debate on the resolution 

indulged in a gcod deal of unnecessarily initiating criticism of the moral 

character of the Indian*, I quote below the dignified rejoinder addressed to 

His Honcur the Administrator by the Secretary of the Natal Indian 

Congrew ; 

MR. P. & AIYAR'S VIEWS iftj 

r *\86ntativd such as the President of the Indian National Congress or 
\Gandhi or Mr. V, S. S. Sastri or Dr. Sapru, or Lala Lajpat Kai who 
re .end the nation's confidence. Failing any such or similar concessions 
ular sentiment here, I am afraid that there is very little hope of 
derable^^ Kq,rty co-operation of our people towards a final and lasting 
teachers had any iu <jj oni The reasons that prompt the Indians to demand 
such being the real fact j ve mua t be obvious, as thi*-* e a question involv- 
presentwas amazed to )( j race. Rightly or -.aid refer dians hold to the 
by the Provincial Counc, w jth a delicate T-.u'es from memi e present one, it is 
not only bad taste, bi^ ge to be han^ lCu l ate d to throw unw we ll intentioned 
deserving aspersion on tL.jvjic*i tone of young children ai r our national 
schools. - w desire is, 

" We need hardly state that the Indian community strongly * ^ble state 
attitude of the Provincial Council and we have been instructed u^Ating 
that in their desire to make political capital out of the Indian children, tht> 
Provincial Council has not done justice to the moral character of the Indian 
community, and it has not evinced credit for their own common intelligence. 
In conclusion, we have been instructed to place on record our keen resent- 
ment at the gratuitously insulting attitude of the Provincial Council towards 
the community and to lodge our protest against same/' 

" A new education ordinance has been introduced in the Provincial 
Council, and while it provides for compulsory education of all European 
children, under Chapter IX, over the heading of non-European education, 
Section, 74, it provides : 

(a) The Administrator may withdraw any grants in aid upon six months' 
written notice given by the Superintendent or he may withdraw them at 
any time, etc. 

(b) The right of admission and expulsion of pupils in non-European 
schools shall, in Government Aided Schools, vest in the managing body. 

(c) No school other than a school maintained or aided by the department 
shall be open for the instruction of non-European children with an attendance 
of more than ten pupils, until the Superintendent has satisfied himself 
through his officers, etc. 

" The foregoing are the salient features of the education ordinance but 
though strenuous objection has been taken by the Congress to the pernicious 
principles involved in the Bill, this Bill not only repudiates the duty which the 
State owes to provide education for Indians and Natives but it takes unto itself 
the power to punish the Indians if they choose to provide their own education- 
al facilities at their own expense. This is the first time that I have ever heard 
of any civilised Government arming themselves with Laws in order to retard 
the progress of its subjects and punish them for endeavouring to get en- 
lightened. In addition to an Educational Bill on the legislative anvil, at the 
recent session of the Natal Provincial Council, this august body unanimously 
passed a resolution affirming the principle that only vernacular education 
should be imparted to Indians and Natives in all schools up to the 6th 
Standard, and that no education shall be given to the children of these races 
in either or both of the official languages of the Union. Indeed, the 
underlying motive of these Acts in respect of the unborn generation of 
Indians and Natives must be transparent to all : That is, in however 
grandiloquent phrases the Government of the Union express their sentiment 


British Empire. The only Indian Industry that has hitherto been leftfeir 
molested was the fishing industry which is exclusively in the hands o$ if 
Indians, who established it soon after their advent to Natal, Sir wrigi- 
Fage s Commission dated the 19th January 1885, even recorded in JUite 
tic terms about the Indian Fishing Industry and offered the thanklfrt the 
colonists to the Indian settlers of Salisbury Island. Now a strong formula 
under the lead of the Fishery Inspector is taking Dlarv m' 'nrs * means 
object of depriving %se Indian fishermen, who are hu generation of Indians 
their means of live? V oc . /aised to the level of the 

feuch is the.should be shtfe of Indian existence i all access to western 
sunshine. The ] n f ac t to all ameiuprovided more civilization so as to give 
safeguarding^ at commodity to the iviRO, one \ It appears from the 
question the a w hjt e people arid also from the operation of the Appren- 
nave been g an( j t h e Factories Act which have in actuality debarred the 
this i^outh from learning any skilled and semi-skilled trades, coupled with 
.B8 n) re8olution recently passed by the Provincial Council legislatively pro- 
hibiting Indian children from learning the English language, that the Govern- 
ment of his country are determined, according to their formula, to preserve 
intact the appurtenances of white civilization for themselves, If that be so, 
any sober minded man would be inclined to ask, what is the practical use of 
this formula in so far as it is applicable to Indians, and what is the objective 
of the Government of India in accepting the same ? It should be interesting 
to know what Delhi will have to say in the matter and cerainly the whole of 
Asia would be justified in asking for an explanation of the attitude of Eng- 
land in respect of this admittedly world-wide problem. 

Situation Gloomy, 

" In summarising the present situation and future outlook for the Indian 
in the union, I have to admit that the prospect is very gloomy indeed. While 
generously exhibiting goodwill, the authorities here have deliberately and 
effectively taken all the steps they possibly could, before even a formal 
discussion at the Round Table Conference, to gain their ends in the direc- 
tion of eliminating the Indian population by persuasion, if necessary, through 
means of economic pressure, and in this diplomatic tussle, situated as the 
Indians are at present, it is difficult to imagine how the Indian Government 
could gain any tangible advantage for our nationals at the Round Table Con- 
ference ! All thoughtful Indians fully realising the applications contained in 
the western standard formula little thought that so astute a diplomatist as 
Lord Reading, could have committed the Government of India to a position 
which bristles with enormous difficulties all round, and certainly the Indians 
in the Union, who are after all the parties immediately affected and who 
naturally have the last say in the matter, would have remonstrated against 
this formula altogether, until they secure an invulnerable status in the Union , 
if they had known the nature of the negotiations conducted between Delhi 
and Cape Town. 

Personnel of the Deputation. 

" However, in view of the importance of this question which is a deli- 
berate challenge on the part of the Union to Asia on the whole, and as it is 
not likely to end with the Round Table Conference, I venture to submit 
to the people of India whether it would not be prudent and politic 
on their part to insist on the Indian Government to accept a national 

MR. P. 3. AIYAR'S VIEWS llj 

representative such as the President of the Indian National Congress or 
Mr. Gandhi or Mr. V. S. S. Saatri or Dr. Sapru, or Lala La] pat Bai who 
command the nation's confidence. Failing any such or similar concessions 
to popular sentiment here, I am afraid that there is very little hope of 
gaining the hearty co-operation of our people towards a final and lasting 
settlement of this question. The reasons that prompt the Indians to demand 
a national representative must be obvious, as this is a question involv- 
ing issues of colour and race. Rightly or wrongly Indians hold to the 
opinion that in dealing with a delicate problem such as the present one, it is 
highly impoper for our case to be handled by aliens, however well intentioned 
and benevolent they may be. We can no longer depend for our national 
existence on the benevolent bounty of other races. What we now desire is, 
our inalienable rights. Quite apart from this, the present deplorable state 
of Indians abroad is the outcome of a systematic and unholy agitation dating 
back to a number of years, on the part of British settlers throughout the British 
Empire for ousting the Indian from his place and deprive him of his hard- 
earned wealth and his inheritance, under the guise of making room for the 
spread of western civilisation, in whose name the black, brown, and yellow 
man has been robbed of his ancient heritage. In this unceasing controversy 
between the white races on the one part and Indian immigrants on the 
other part, the British and the Indian Governments, who are the ack- 
nowledged leaders of western civilisation have been playing the part of 
a " looker on " without lifting a single finger to put an end to this fratricidal 
war in vindication of the rights of less organised alien races to exist. The 
main issue is this : that is, whether, in the name of western civilisation, it is 
moral, justifiable and honest to devise measures with the ultimate object of 
strangling a minority community, alien in race different in colour to that 
of the dominant race. Does the ethical code of the western civilisation 
sanctions insidious propaganda on the part of its votaries in order to keep as 
a close preserve the incidents of that civilisation to the white races alone with- 
out giving an opportunity to others who desire to be admitted into the sanctum 
and become devotee of that civilization t These are the issues now confronting 
the public in India, England and South Africa, on a settlement of which, the 
fate of our countrymen in this continent depends. Can any patriotic man, 
who attaches any importance to his sense of national honour, honestly say 
that the case of our nationals abroad, such as it is, would be effectively and 
with advantage to ourselves presented by other than Indians ? In a word, 
it is the desire of the Indian community in the Union that they should be 
represented by one of the eminent national leaders and I, therefore, venture 
to think that the people and press in India would give their earnest 
consideration to the wishes of our countrymen and take the necessary steps 
to influence those capable of giving effect to this desire 1 '. 

Disabilities Under UnionLaws. 

Since the Smuts-Gandhi settlement of 1914 the position of the Indians 
in South Africa has considerably worsened. His present position in the 
various provinces is summarised iu the " Indian Opinion/ 1 which we quote 
below ; 


REP : ACTS 22 OF 1913 ; 22 OF 1914, 

Under ministerial powers conferred by Act 22 of 1913 (Section 4 (1) (a) Indians are 
banned as undesirable Immigrants. 

Entry into the Transvaal Province is claimable as of right only by holders of 
registration certificates issued under Act 36 of 1908, by the one wife of any such holder, 
and by the minor children (under 16 years of age) of such union (Section 5). 

Suspects are liable to arrest without warrant. Penalties, three months, hard labour 
without the option of fine and removal from the Union (Sec. 6). 

Right of entry and residence in any one Province does not include right to enter or 
remain in any other Province. There is no right of inter-provincial migration and a 
person lawfully domiciled in any one Province may be a prohibited immigrant in any 
other and liable to the statutory penalties. 

Persons convicted of certain specified offences are liable to removal from the Union 
(Sec. 22). 

Onus probandi is on the accused to prove his innocence (Sec. 23). 

The legal wife of an exempted person is not entitled to admission, if such person 
has in any province offspring by any other woman who is still living (22 of 1914. 
See. 3 (2) (b)). 

In the Natal and Cape provinces domiciliary right and right of educational testa 
under Act 30 of 1906 Cape of Good Hope and Act 30 of 1903 of Natal are preserved to 
such persons as were lawfully entitled to reside in the said Provinces at the recommence- 
ment of Act '22 of August 1913. 

The Orange Free State Laws prohibit immigration or residence of Indians within 
that Province, save as domestic servants and the like under contract. 

The Smuts-Gandhi agreement of 1914 provided that the Indians should accept the 
principle of restriction upon further Indian immigration to this extent that ten new 
comers per annum for each Province (excluding Free State) should be admitted apart 
from temporary visitors such as priests, teachers, etc., so that the resident population 
should have the benefit of the infusion of some new blood. It was also understood, that 
scch newcomers must be recommended by the official representative Body of the Indians 
and be snch as that Body should select on the ground of their usefulness to the community. 
Such new comers were to enjoy all the privileges allowed by law to holders of registration 

Transvaal : Indian disabilities have their root in the Qrondwet (Constitution) of the 
Old Transvaal Republic which declares that there must be no equality in Church or* State 
between whites and non-whites. The doctrine is still preserved. 

REGISTRATION : (LAW 3 OF 1885, ACT 2 OF 1907, \CT 36, OP 1908). 

All male adult Indians lawfully residing in the Transvaal must bold and produce 
on demand to any police or other officer a rrgistiation ccitificatc lawfully issued under 
Act 36 of 1908 or a letter of Exemption issued under the Smuts-G-andhi agreement. 
Temporary visitors such as priests, teachers, etc., must similarly produce their authority 
to be in the Province. Women and children under the age of 16 years may be called 
upon to prove their relationship as wives or children to one or other of above class of 
adults. The statutes cited disclose a gradually increasing stringency. The original 
note struck by the S. A. Republic is not only sustained, but has been amplified by 
statute by every succeeding Government. Adult male Indians, other than holders of 
registration certificates, letters of exemption or temporary permits are prohibited im- 
migrants and are liable to fine, imprisonment and deportation. A person may be a 
lawful resident of one Province and yet be a prohibited immigrant in any other. 
Trading licences are issuable only to holders of Registration certificates. The Registration 
Certificate is a document peculiar to the Transvaal. 


Transvaal : Residence is legally permitted only in Wards, Locations, etc., especially 
set apart (Law 3 of 1885 as amended 1886). Ownership of fixed (real) property outside 
of eucb Wards, Locations, etc., is absolutely prohibited. Ownership of fixed property can 
in law only be acquired through the process of registration of such property in 
Deeds Register. Such Wards, Locations, etc., as above referred to are Municipal property, 
and residence therein by Asiatics confers no fixity of tenure. Ordinarily a monthly 
rental is paid and the tenancy is a monthly one. 


Prior to the lit "of May, 1919, fixed property might be held by limited liability 
companies formed of Indian shareholders, or might be held by a European trustee for 
the benefit of an Indian or Indians. The practice was for such European holders to 
pass a bond in favour of the beneficiary or benifioiaries and to grant powers of attorney 
to enable the actual owner to deal with such property. Act 37 of 1919 specifically 
deprives limited liability companies controlled by Asiatics of the right to have fixed 
property registered in their names and applies the prohibition under Law 2 of 1885 to 
such companies. The practice of a European holder taking such property in trust and 
passing a mortgage bond by way of security is likewise made impossible. Any such 
company controlled by Asiatics as shall have acquired the ownership of fixed property 
since the 1st of May, 1919, is compelled to dispose of same within two years from the 
3rd July, 1919, or by Order of Court (Sec. 2 ibid). The 3rd of July, 1919, is the date 
of the commencement of this Act. 

The Johannesburg location known as the " Malay Location, the local habitat of 
Asiatic residents is notoriously the slum of Johannesburg and for years was unspeakably 
neglected by the Municipality. More recently, probably through fear of infectious 
disease breaking out in that quarter this location has received more attention and its 
conditions are now slightly improved. 

Natal : Till comparatively recently no restrictions upon residence were imposed upon 
non-indentured Indians. Strenuous efforts are now being made to follow the example of 
the Transvaal in the direction of segregation. 

Gape : There are no legal restrictions. 

Orange Free State : Indians not being admissible cannot of course reside. As pre- 
viously explained Indian servants under contract are alone accepted. 


Transvaal : The restrictions as to residence under Law 3 of 1885 were held not to 
include occupation for purpose of trade (Motan versus Transvaal Government 1904 T. 8. 
page 404). This was a test case brought against the refusal of a licence to trade on a 
stand in the City of Pretoria. The refusal was based on the construction placed by the 
authorities on Law 3 of 1885. The Supreme Court held that " residence fl did not include 
" trading." 

The Gold Law (35 of 1908 amending Law 15 of 1898) restricts Indian residence on 
or occupation of any ground held under any right granted under the Gold Law and 
further restricts the residence by any coloured person (which term includes Indians) on 
proclaimed land in Johannesburg, Boksburg and Krugersdorp, save locations as provided 
by Law 3 of 1885. The whole of the \\ itwatersrand is a proclaimed gold bearing area. 
The term occupation " has been held to include occupation for purposes of trade, 1 * The 
prohibition is not applicable to coloured persons in the employ of white persons who live 
on their employers 1 premises nor to coloured persons lawfully in occupation at the com- 
mencement of the Act. 

Act 37 of 1919 Section 1 amends the above to the extent that it accepts any 
British Indian, who, on the 1st day of May, 1918, was lawfully trading on such a stand, 
or to the lawful successors in title to any such in respect of such business so long as such 
British Indian or his successor in title continues to carry on business in the same township 
in which it was being carried on the 1st of May, 1919. 

Act 36 of 1908, amending the Townships Act of 1907 must be read together with 
the Gold Law of 1908. Its effect is to prevent the sale of stands in townships in leasehold 
and to compel such transactions to be made in freehold only. Indians are thereby 
effectively debarred from acquiring any colour of ownership under cover of leasehold 
title. Leasehold grants running at the date of the passing of this statute were required 
to be converted into freehold within a defined period. The statute was designed to close 
any loopholes that any defects in earlier anti-Asiatic legislation might have left. 

Traders in towns generally require to take out one licence termed a Revenue Licence 
issued by the Government and another licence issued by the local Municipality. The 
Municipality controls the li ^ences held by vendors of foodstuffs and applications, must be 
made to a board elected by the Municipality. One result of the anti-Asiatic agit a- ions 
has been a long series of refusal of Indian applications for such licences and in some 
cases of renewals of old licences on the ground that Asiatics are regarded as un- 
desirable persons to handle foodstuffs. A notorious example is that of Mr. M. M. 
Dadoo of Krugersdorp, sometime a partner in the firm of Chotabhai and Dadoo and 
more recently his successor in business. Mr. Dadoo is the proprietor of probably the 
largest department store in Krugersdrop. His grocery department requires to be licensed 



by the Municipality as above indicated. His licence was refused one year on the score 
of hie unsnitability as an Asiatic. 

The Gold Law specifically refuses to Asiatics and coloured persons the right to carry 
on business as jewellers or workers in precious metals. It also debars Indiana from 
prospecting for gold and from holding claims in gold bearing areas. 

Natal: Dealers' Licences Acts 1905, 1906, 1909, 1915, etc. Trading licences are 
controlled by a licensing officer who may refuse to grant the issue of renewal of a licence 
to a shopkeeper either of standing or who wishes to commence business From his decision 
there is an appeal to a board elected from residents of the same town or village. These 
are not unusally business men of the same place, perhaps rival traders. The result has 
been extremely serious to Indian applicants for new licences or for the renewal or transfer 
to other premises of old licences. 

Gape : Although somewhat similar conditions obtain the difficulties here have not 
been nearly so strongly accentuated. In fact, it may be remarked generally that the 
atmosphere of the Cape is much more tolerant than that of any other Province. Still, 
difficulties have occasionally arisen in regard to Indian applicants for licences indicating 
danger of the spread into this Province of the intolerance and prejudice experienced in 
the others. 


Transvaal (Act 25 of 1907 : Non-whites may be supplied only with primary education, 
secondary and higher education is for whites only (Chap. 4). No coloured children may 
be admitted or be a pupil or member of any school class or institution other than such 
as are set apart for non-Europerns. Chap. 4). The education of Indian children ordinarily 
proceeds in the game schools with native and Cape coloured children, There are some 
Indian schools originally privately founded and since adopted by the Government. 

Natal : The standard up to which Indian children are allowed to remain at school 
le considerably lower than that up to which white children are allowed to remain. They 
are generally allowed to go up to the fourth standard only. 


The railways throughout the Union are Government owned railways. Indians may 
travel only in compartments either with natives and other coloured persons or in the 
case of superior classes in compartments "reserved" for non-Europeans (Act 22 of 1916, 
Sec. 4 (6). The administration has "power to reserve for different classes of persons or 
natives." Considerable friction arose some few years since over an endeavour to compel 
Indian passengers to wait on certain fenced-off portions of the platforms. 


The tramcars of Johannesburg and Pretoria are Municipal property, Indian travellers 
are relegated to the back seats. In wet weather, this imposes grave discomfort. In Natal 
considerable friction has from time to time arisen between conductors and Indian 
passengers due to an endeavour to apply a similar practice. 

Franchise and Political Status. 

Transvaal : Nil. 

Natal : Vide recent legislation and proposed legislation designed to deprive Indians 
of vested rights. 


Indians are subjected to exactly the same taxation as Europeans, irrespective of 
whether they have or have not any measure of representation. 


The disabilities originally imposed, since the annexation of the Transvaal, and the 
incorporation of Natal into the Union, have gone steadily from comparatively bad to 
almost the possibly worst and there can be no doubt about ibis having been the carrying 
effect of a carefully calculated policy. The ultimate objective is either complete segre- 
gation or alternatively to make conditions so impossible that Indians shall leave the 


The position in regard to Natal is somewhat peculiar. It was thus described by the 
8. African Indian Deputation in its address to the Viceroy cany this year : 


*' Natal has an Indian population of about 140,000, of whom a large proportion are 
born in the country, being descendants of those who by their labour and industry trans- 
formed that Province from a wilderness into a garden. In the year 1890, Indians were 
deprived without the slightest justification of their Parliamentary Franchise, but no restric- 
tion was placed upon them with respect to the acquisition of fixed property or the 
right to trade and to reside where they chose. In 1908, however, the Natal Legislature 
passed two drastic measures, one was designed to stop the issue of new trading licences 
to Asiatic forthwith, and the other to prevent the renewal of existing licences after 19 1 8. 
These measures, needless to say, did not receive the Imperial Government's assent, and 
the trading rights of Indians were left undisturbed. 

<( Thus, Sir, when the deputation waited upon you in 1922, although Indians ex- 
perienced some difficulty in obtaining new licences to trade, and despite the fact that 
they suffered many minor indignities as a result ot vexatious and restrictive regulations 
then in operation, neverthless, they still cloyed the full municipal and township franchise 
equal with Europeans, and they still retained the right to own fixed property and to 
reside where they chose without let or hindrance. 

" Since then a change for the worse has taken place. Three Provincial Ordinances, 
the provisions of which are intended to be applied to the Indian Community almost 
exclusively, have received the assent of the Governor-General-m-Council, despite very 
strong protests against them. Two of these Ordinances, namely, the Boioughs Ordinance 
of 1924 and the Townships Franchise Amendment Oidmance 1925 taken together, by 
one stroke of the pen, deprive ail Indians of their municipal and township franchise 
right respectively, although they possess the necessary qualifications, if their names are 
not already on the voters roll. By a further claube in the first of these Ordinances, 
Municipalities have the power to prohibit the ownership or occupation or both of nn- 
alienated municipal lands by persoub of Asiatic descent. The third Ordinance, namely, 
the Rural Dealers 1 Licensing Oidimind-, creates Boards whose duty it is to consider all 
applications for licences to trade. Against the decision of the Board in the case of new 
applications as well as applications for transfer from one premises to another, there is 
no right of appeal. As this Ordinance is specially designed to restrict trading by Asiatics, 
and as it is administered in that spirit, it is not difficult for Your Excellency to conceive 
how Indians are suffering thereunder. 

Paddison Deputation's Findings. 

The Indian deputation which recently visited South Africa has shown how unjust 
the treatment meted out to Indians is. It wrote : " His (the Indians) actual status in 
South Africa to-day is, m many respects, inferior to that of the European subjects of 
His Majesty, and he is denied privileges which are extended to those who owe no allegi- 
ance to the King-Emperor m fact, even to ex-enemy subjects. Thus, except in the Cape 
Province, he ib not in enjoyment of the political franchise. The municipal franchise for 
which, until recently, he was eligible in Natal was taken away from him by the Natal 
Boroughs Ordinance (No. 19 of 1921) and the Natal Township Franchise Ordinance 
(No. 3 of 1925). A series of resolutions and laws ending with the Asiatic (Land and 
Trading) Amendment Act (Act, No. 37 of 1919) bas completely prohibited the acquisition 
by him of immovable propeity in the Transvaal, except in such localities as Government 
may for sanitary reasons assign to him for purposes of residence, The Durban Borough 
Lands Alienation Oidmance (No, 14 of 1922) and the Natal Borough and Township 
Lands Ordinance (No. 5 ot 1923) have bad the effect of imposing a similar disability on 
the Indian in respect of purchasing or leasing land belonging to municipalities in Natal. 

Refusal of Trade Licences. 

" In the administration of the Provincial licensing laws the Indian is treated with 
peculiar severity almost throughout the Union. In the Orange Free State he may not 
trade at all, and even in the Cape Province in some municipalities and for certain local- 
ities Indians find it difficult to obtain trading licences. As regards the Province of Natal 
the position is best described in the words used by the Principal Licensing Officer of 
Durban, Colonel Molyneuz, who, in giving evidence before the Asiatic Inquiry Commission, 
said : 

" We do what we can to restrict further Indian licences. A European licence is 
granted as a matter of course, whereas the Indian licence is refused as a matter of course, 
if It were a new licence." 

11 This is typical of municipalities in that Province. Durban and other municipalities 
in Natal have also used their licencing powers to confine Indians to special areas for 
purposes of trade. The municipality of JPieternmriUburg only last December made f 


of its authority under the Natal Township of Borough Lands Ordinance to eject a number 
of old established Indian merchants from their premises, mainly because the locality 
adjoined the European trading areas. In the rural areas of the province the same res- 
trictive policy is being persued under the Natal Rural Dealers Licencing Ordinance 
(No. 4 of 1923). In the Transvaal Indians cannot get licences to carry on trade "on 
any of the stands outside townships gi anted after the Gold Law of 1908 came into force," 
or on "stands inside townships whether now held under the Gold Law title or under a 
title converted into freehold under the Townships Act No. 3 of 1908." Elsewhere they 
are eligible for such licences. But their position has been rendered precarious by the 
new Transvaal General Dealer's (Control) Ordinance, which makes it obligatory for every 
applicant for a general dealer's licence to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the local 
authority if he wishes to carry on business under a municipality, or from a "board 11 if 
he wishes to trade within a "declared area." Indians have no representation on muni- 
cipalities ; the elements that are opposed to them have, and can, therefore, influence 
municipal policy to their disadvantage. An instance is provided by the action of the 
Balfonr municipality, which has already utilised its new powers to refuse licences whole- 
Bale to Indians. 

"Except on suburban lines in the Cape Province, Indians may not travel by rail 
in compartments other than those specially reserved for non-Europeans ; in some places 
they may use only reserved seats on tramcars, and only reserved taxicabs and rikshaws. 
Except in the Cape Province, they may, also, not transact the normal business in post 
and telegraph offices at counters other than those specially set apart for non- Europeans. 
In the law courts in Durban we saw a notice prominently exhibited in Registrar's Office 
requesting lawyers to send only Europeans to take out processes of the Court, as non- 
Europeans would not be attended to. Popular prejudice is responsible for their exclusion 
from hotels and places of amusement like theatres and cinemas. It is not suggested that 
the laws or administrative orders or the racial prejudice of which this differential treat- 
ment is the consequence are now in issue. The recital of these disabilities is intended 
solely to illustrate the contrast b3tween legitimate Indian expectations and the actual 
status of the Indian community in South Africa. 

Indians not an Alien Community. 

It is sometimes contended that the Indian's services to one section of the community 
cannot be allowed to complicate the racial problems of South Africa. This cannot, how- 
ever, be treated as an excuse for subjecting him to invidious treatment. In the first 
place, the Indian labourer did not come to Natal of bis own accord. In spite of the 
opposition to Indian immigration winch emanated from certain quarters, the movement 
was for a considerable period, actively encouraged by the authorities. Though the con- 
tract for hire on which the Indian came to the country was originally ior a limited 
number of years, he was assured that he could engage m agricultural or commcicial pur- 
suits and move about with the same freedom as other sections of the community. Later, 
to achieve the same object, he was permitted to commute his right to a free passage to 
India for the equivalent value in land. In the second place, as the Clayton Commission 
pointed out in 1909, the employment of Indian labourers was widespi cad, and not con- 
fined to one or two paiticular industries. General farmers evidently found them as 
useful as the owners of sugar estates, and Government railways and coal mines employed 
them by the thousand. And, as has already been indicated in para N 7 of this statement, 
their activity has been of great benefit to the province as a whole. The trader who 
came in the wake of the labourer ministered first to the wants of his own fellow country- 
men and later to the needs of the whole community. As several Europeans, including 
bankers and large wholesale merchants told us, their standard of commercial honesty 
is at high as that of any other race, their dealings with their customers are fair, and 
they are always considerate and courteous to their clients. In the third place, the bulk 
of the Indian population in South Africa was born in the country and knows no other 
home. According to the Census of 1921, the percentage of Indians born in the Union 
was 67*27 per cent., many of them are complete strangers to India, her languages and 
customs. In the fourth place, to quote the words of Mr. W. H. Law BOD, a recent writer 
on South Africa who is not unduly sympathetic to the Indian : "Fair-minded Europeans 
readily admit that the best of their Indian neighboured are quiet and unassuming in 
civic and business relationship, keeping themselves to themselves, rendering ready obe- 
dience to the laws of the country, so far as they are understood; and maintaining an 
orderly and exemplary domestic life. 11 

" In the circumstances, they can legitimately claim that they are not an alien but 
an integral part of the community, an element to be nuned, not to be discarded an 


asset and not an embarrassment. That, in spite of all the circumstances which we nave 
briefly enumerated they are, on racial grounds, subjected to disabilities from which new- 
comers are exempt, naturally cuts them to the quick. To them it is a bitter reflection that 
treatment from which they would be protected m a foreign country by treaty-rights 
or by the active intervention of His Majesty's Government is, paradoxically enough, the 
reward of their services to South Africa, and the recognition of their common allegiance 
to the same Sovereign. 

Breach of Faith. 

" Their attitude of unrest and alarm at their position in the Union, which is scarcely 
in accord with any piinciple of equity, is influenced by three other factors. First, the 
Indian opinion throughout the world looks upon all fresh restrictions as a breach of the 
settlement of 1914, popularly known as the Smuts-Gandhi Agreement, which they regard 
as a guarantee that the status which Indians in South Africa had acquired in 1U11 
would at least be maintained. Second, they are unable to understand why, even though 
the white population of South Africa is no longer threatened with Asiatic influx, 
the few rights that they still enjoy are being steadily curtailed. Speaking at the Imperial 
War Conference in 1917, General Smuts said: " Once the white community in South 
Africa were rid of the fear that they were going to be flooded by unlimited immigration 
from India, all the other questions would be considered subsidiary, and would become 
easily and perfectly soluble. That is the position in which we are now that the fear 
which foimerly obsessed the white settlers has been removed ; the great principal of 
restricting immigration for which they have contended is on our Statute Book with the 
consent of the Indian population in South Africa and the Indian authorities in India ; 
and that being so, I think ttiat the way is now open for a peaceiui and statesman- like 
solution of all the minor administrative troubles which occurred and will occur tiom 
time to time. Of course, the main improvement has been the calling of India to the 
Council Chamber of the Empne. Here, if any question prove difficult of treatment, we 
can discuss it in a friendly way and try to find a solution in consultation, and 1 am 
sure we shall ever find it. I for one do not consider that among the multitudinous 
problems which confront us in our country, the question of India will trouble us much 
in the future." In 1918, on a similar occasion, Mr. Burton made the following statement ; 
' As far as we are concerned it is only fair to sayand it is the tiuth that the Indians 
in our midst in South Africa, who form in some parts a very substantial portion of the 
population, are good, law-abiding, quiet citizens, and it is our duty to see ... that 
they are treated as human beings with feelings like our own and in a proper manner/ 1 

Restrictive Bills. 

Indians find it difficult to reconcile restrictive legislation such as has been enacted 
in Natal, or is now contemplated in the provisions of the Colour Bar Bill and the Liqour 
Laws Consolidating Bill specially affecting Asiatics, with the principles ot policy embo- 
died in the pronouncements of two responsible South African statesmen who, at the time 
the statements were made, spoke on behalf of the Government of the Union. They can 
still less understand so deep an affront to their self-respect and so drastic a diminution 
of their present rights as involved in the Areas Reservation and Immigration and 
Registration (Further Provision) Bill. Third, they feel thut the Union Government which, 
when the Act of Union was passed, was made the sole guardian of their interests, owes 
them special protection, since, except in the Cape Province, they are denied the political 
franchise which, wherever representative institutions prevail, is the surest safeguard of the 
rights and interests of any section of the community . 

" The Bill appears to be incompatible with these assurances, It is a deep afiront to 
the sentiment of an ancient and civilized people and inherently unjust. 

Indians in East Africa. 

la the preceding papas we have shown how the position of the Indian 
community in South Africa had given cause for the deepest apprehensions 
and how the whites had been Baaing a compaign to drive Indians out of the 
country by enacting and seeking to enact a series of legislative measures 
calculated to deprive Indians of their means of livelihood. A deputation 
of the Indians in South Africa visited this country by the end of the year 
1925 as a result of which the Government of India sent a delegation of 
preliminary enquiry to S. Africa and induced the Union Government to send 
a delegation to India. Both the delegations had completed their labours by 
this time and a Round Table Conference was sitting in Cape Town in 
December 1926. The proceedings and findings of this Conference will be 
given in the next issue of the Register. 

During this period the position of Indians in Kenya was also giving 
cause for similar anxiety. They had been denied equal rights and they had 
been chosen for discriminatory Legislation. We give below the text of the 
new Kenya Legislation imposing a poll-tax on Asiatic residents and its 
proceedings in the Kenya Legislative Council : 

The Poll-tax on Indians. 

His Excellency Sir Edward Grigg, the Governor of Kenya, in the 
course of the session of the Kenya Legislative Council in the beginning 
f November 1926 put before the Council certain definite proposals to 
raise a new revenue of 53,000 to meet the educational needs of the colony. 
These proposals were referred to a Select Committee to advise the Govern* 
ment generally as to the means of raising the above sum by certain taxes. 
The majority report by the Europeans of the committee which saddles the 
Indian community with an additional poll cess of 20 sh. is as follows : 

The Committee of the Council appointed to make recommendations in regard to the 
means of raising new revenue to meet the cost of European and Indian Education other 
than overhead and loan interest charges desires to recommend that the following taxes 
be imposed : 

1. Consumption Taxes on: (a) Spirits at the rate of sh. 7*50 psr imperial gallon. 
Bough estimate 25,000 ; (b) Wines other than champagne sh. 3 per imperial gallon. 
Bough estimate, 7,000 ; (c) Champagnes at the rate of sh, 15 per imperial gallon. Rough 
estimate, 500. 

The above taxes to be imposed upon all portable spirits and wines released from 
customs control for consumption in the colony. 

2. A domestic servant tax : Rough estimate 7,000. The general intention of the 
Committee is that this tax is to be paid at the rate of sh. 2 per mensem on every male 
domestic servant above the apparent age of sixteen in European employment in excess 
of two per household, but the Committee has not entered into details regarding clubs, 
hotels, boarding houses, married and bachelor establishments. 

8. A poll cess. Bough estimate. 12,000 ; This tax to be paid by Asiatics only at 
the rate of sh. 20 per adult male. Total 51,500. 

The rates suggested for the two latter proposed taxes are baaed on the assumption 
that the incidence of the consumption taxes will be as follows : 

Spirits Europeans 18,000; Wines Europeans, 6,000; Champagne Europeans 
600 ; Total 24,600. 

Spirits Indians. 7,000; Winea Indians 1,000 ; Champagne Indiani, nil; Total 


The above report and the recommendations contained had been adopted 
by the Council by a majority. The very nature of the three different taxes 
showed that the recommendations were not only cruel but more than cruel, 
In the first place the portion allocated to Indian Education was based on wrong 
calculations. The two Indian members who were on the Select Committee 
asked for the statistics which made the European members allocate the sum 
of 9,000 for the Indian education from wines and spirits tax. But the 
Governor replied that the Government would see that statistics are supplied 
next year. Meanwhile he asked the members to agree to the recommendations 
in the majority report, 

Indians' Minority Report. 

The two Indian members Hon. Mr. J. B. Pandya and Hon, Mr. Sham- 
Ud-Din rightly protested against this iniquitous new taxation and submitted 
their minority report suggesting other alternatives to raise the money 
required for the purpose of education. The text of the report is as follows : 

We, the undersigned, regret that notwithstanding oar willingness to help the Com- 
mittee to find money for the education of Euiopean and Indian children respectively, 
we find it impossible to agree to the majority report, of the Committee as to the method 
of raising the revenue required for the education of European and Indian children. The 
amounts required for the education of European and Indian children is respectively ; 

Europeans 52,000 for 900 children. Indians 20,000 for 2,318 children. 

Although the disparity in distribution of the amounts allocated to the two votes 
respectively is obviously pronounced, we have throughout the discussion in the Committee 
agreed to either of the following two principles being adopted : 

(1) Either that each community should find the money required for the education 
of its children by means of direct tax, or, 

(2) That the money required for the education of the children of both the communi- 
ties should be found by means of an indirect tax and that unless absolutely reliable 
Statistical figures are available to ascertain the amounts collected from each community 
no allocation of the amounts should be made. 

Although this pooling of the newly collected revenue would give the advantage to 
the European community of getting for their education three-fifths of the amount as 
against the Indians who would only got two-fifths of the sum, we do not wish to force 
the issue as to whether all communities get their proportionate share out of the 
general revenue in accordance with their respective contributions to the revenue of the 

We are entirely opposed to any differentiation amongst the different communities in 
the imposition of taxation. 

We would therefore submit that the sum of 32,000 estimated to be collected by 
new taxation on spirits, wines and champagnes should go towards the common vote for 
education of both the communities and the balance of 20,000 should be raised by one 
uniform tax applicable to both communities based on a calculation so that the amounts 
collected from each community will be in proportion to the amount required for the 
education of the children of that community. 

The proportion will be that in order to make up the sura of 20,000, 12,000 will 
have to be collected from Europeans and 8,000 from the Indian community. 

We wish to lay a special stress on the fact that there are at the present moment only 
338 European children who do not receive any education against 2,547 Indian children 
who also have no means of receiving education. 

His Excellency the Governor replying to the criticism by the Indian 
members of the new taxation said that he was satisfied that these proposals 
were not only fair but more than fair to the Indian community. He said 
that the Indians had to pay only 20sh. per head and it was for this reason 
that he had accepted the Majority Report and in doing so he was convinced 
that he was acting with complete fairness to the Indian community. 


The European View. 

" The Mombasa Times " an European daily published on the coast in 
its editorial stated : 

It may be that the whole country may not see eye to eye with the Majority Report ; 
certainly, already one section of it has deemed it meet to take exception to the new 
taxation. In their Minority Report the two Indian members Mr. Shams Ud Din and 
Mr. Pandya raise a protest against the somewhat nebulous calculations of the committee 
men and the incidence thereof to the Indian Tax. For our part, in justice to the Indian 
side of it, we recognise that a direct tax on the one band and a more or less indirect tax 
on the other does not meet the full requirements of a legitimate exploitation of Kenya's 
taxable population. We consider that some sort of indirect tax should have been levied 
in order to avoid that ' bete noir 1 of all taxation. It now remains with the Indian com* 
mnnity to take such steps as they consider may best serve to register their disapproval. 

Indian Community's Move. 

From the above it is clear that gross injustice was done to the ludian 
community, And at this injustice the Indian community was enraged to such 
an extent that they had in a mass meeting convened early in November at 
Mombassa decided to hold the next sessions of the South African Indian 
National Congress at Mombassa in December as early as possible to protest 
against this iniquitous taxation and forwarded a resolution passed at this 
meeting to the Kenya Government and to the Colonial Secretary and the 
Government of India to stop the new legislation from being passed as 
law till the Indian community had a chance to make representations to the 
Colonial Office and the Government of India. 

Mr, D. B. Desai's Views. 

The problem was so much in the forefront that there was fear of 
other colonies taking advantage of the situation to force the pace of their 
anti-Indian programme. Mr. D. B. Desai, therefore, sounded a timely note 
of warning in his letter to the Government of India which, he said, he wrote 
under the authority of and instructions from the Indian Citizens' Association, 
Mombaesa, and with a view to help the Government of India to tak 9 imme- 
diate action as the new taxes will come into force from 1st January next. 

History of the Poll-Tax. 

" Mr. Desai says that the Government of the colony and Protectorate of 
Kenya have recently passed a Non-native Poll-Tax (Amendment) Ordinance, 
1926, whereby male adult Asiatics will be required to pay an additional 
1 tax. Formerly they used to pay 1-10-0 and now they will have to pay 
2-10-0. This non-native poll-tax ordinance was passed by the Government 
of British East Africa Protectorate, charging all non-natives Ra. 15 per head 
when the rupee was at 1 8d, and when Indian rupee was current and legal 
coin in East Africa Protectorate which is now called the Colony and Proteto- 
rate of Kenya, in the year 1912 when there was no Indian representative, 
either nominated or elected, on the Legislative Council of that country. So, 
according to popular maxim of no taxation without representation which is 
greatly respected by British Government, this taxation is both unjust and 

" The Government of India is well aware that in territories known as the 
Colony and Protectorate of Kenya there is included a ten mile costal strip 
which has been rented by the Sultan of Zanzibar and for which strip the 


Kenya Government is paying to H. H. the Sultan of Zanzibar an annual rent 
according to a treaty which has been made by the British Government with 
the Sultan of Zanzibar. It has been agreed by the British Government inter 
alia that no fresh taxation excepting those expressly mentioned in the said 
treaty will be levied on subjects residing in the said ten-mile strip without 
the previous sanction of H. H. the Sultan of Zanzibar. It is believed that 
no such consent was ever obtained before this tax was applied to residents 
of this ten-mile strip. When the East African Government changed Indian 
rupee and introduced a florin currency (making a florin equal to a rupee), 
this tax of Rs. 15 was converted into a tax of fl. 15 and when in 1922 florin 
currency was converted into shilling currency} this fl.15 tax was changed into 
30s. tax. So ordinarily non-natives had to pay 20 shillings but in 1922 they 
had to pay 30 shillings without any fault of theirs, thus making an increase 
of 50 per cent. 

Object of the Levy of Poll-Tax. 

" It is stated, this new taxation of additional poll cess is levied for pro- 
viding educational facilities. But the Government of Kenya seems to have 
forgotten that from the beginning till now the Government of Kenya baa 
spent considerably heavy sums for purposes of education of European child- 
ren while neglecting the education of Indian children, and at that time the 
provision which was made for education came out from general taxation. 
But now in order to tax the Indian community, the Kenya Government has 
engineered a new plan which is both inequitable and unjust. From the 
minority report which has been submitted to the Kenya Government by the 
Hon'ble Messrs. J. B. Pandya and Shamsuddeen, the two Indian nominated 
members to the Kenya Legislative Council, one finds that 52,000 are re- 
quired for eucational purposes and the sum is allocated as under Europeans ; 
32,000 for 960 children, approximately 38-12 per head. So from this 
one understands how Indian education is neglected. Over and above this, 
in spite of this new tax of 52,000, there will remain 2547 Indian children 
without any means of education. It will not be out of place to mention that 
education in Kenya is not free. School boys have to pay as school fees 2s. 
4s. 8s, per month according to the standard in which they are studying, which 
will mean that Indian children are contributing much more than their Euro- 
pean brothers and sisters and the Government of Kenya, it seemsi has omitted 
to take into consideration the amount thus collected from school fees 

This sum of 52,000 has been raised as stated in the majority report 
submitted to the Government of Kenya (aud of which report the Government 
of Kenya has spoken in very high terms) and which has been passed by the 
Kenya Legislative Council last month in the following way : Spirits 25,000i 
wines 7,000, champagnes 500, domestic servants 7,000 (from Europeans 
only), poll cess 12,000 (from Indians only). Now for the first three items 
of 32,510, there is nothing on customs record to show in what proportion 
this sum is contributed by the two communities and, therefore, the assump- 
tion made in the majority report (which is also signed by Hon'ble the Colonial 
Secretary to tho Government of Kenya), ia only a fallacy and cannot be 
sustained and relied upon without sufficient proofs in support. In the 
majority report, it is assumed that for this 32,500 of spirits, etc., 24,500 
are contributed by Europeans. So barring this 32,500, there remains only 
19,000 in the new taxation which is divided between Europeans and Indians. 


The former have to contribute 7,000, while the latter 12,000. Domestic 
Servants Tax, which is payable by Europeans, is to be paid at the rate of 
two shillings per mensem on every male domestic servant above apparent age 
of sixteen and in excess of two servants per household) which will mean there 
will be many families who will not have to pay this tax which is not an 
individual tax, whereas poll cess is an individual cess payable by each and 
every male Indian adult. 

"Mr. Desai, finally requests the Government of India to take this 
matter up most seriously and immediately with the authorities concerned 
and immediately cause this new additional one pound polling cess taxation 
to be removed ". 

Lord Olivier on S. African Indians. 


In February 1926 Lord Olivier wrote the following in " The New 
Statesman ": 

There shall not be In the eye of the Law any distinction or disqualification whether 
fonnded on mere distinction of colour, origin, language or creed, but the protection of 
the Law in letter and in substance shall be extended impartially to all alike. ( Queens 1 
Proclamation, annexing Natal May, 1843.) 

General Hertzog and the South African "Labour" Party are setting out to make 
history in two continents, by calling the moral bluff of the established English doctrine of 
principles of British Imperialism ( set forth in the above-quoted proclamation ) and by 
challenging the British Government, as responsible trustee for the interests and rights of 
the King's Indian subjects, to prove itself prepared to defend them as those of British 
nationals, domiciled in any dominion, as in any foreign State, would be defended against 
oppressive encroachment there. This view of the menace of General Hertzog's activities and 
of its necessary reaction on Indian politics is no sudden alarmism. General Smuts, 
in opoflition has joined its prophets. A year ago he warned the Union Government that 
the effects of their policy would not stop in South Africa, but would provoke a world- 
conflict. This month he repeats that 

" an extension of the colour-bar at this moment, when the Prime Minister is on the 
point of bringing forward a new native policy, would be disastrous. . . . Native 
opinion is largely in revolt. The natives are seething with discontent all over 
South Africa. ... It is not only the natives who are making difficulties. There is 
no doubt that when the Asiatic Bill is passed then the trouble will begin. We 
know it is coming. The Asiatic Bill must lead to the gravest troubles of administra- 
tion. I knew that in 1924. It is inevitable. In these circumstances the colour 
Bar Bill gratuitously produced here is a firebrand flung into a haystack." 
And by way, it may be supposed, of a counterpoise, to prove to African natives that 
the principle of " white hegemony " is to be impartially administered to Crown Colonies, 
also the Colonial office, we hear, is discussing a scheme for dividing the oil-palm foresti 
of Sierra Leone into estates, within each one of which the nati ve gatherers are to be 
allowed to sell to one merchant only. This in the hope of redressing in part (for the 
merchants ) the damage done to the trade through the results of that export duty, of the 
folly of which, in past years, vigorous warnings have been published in these columns, 
Lord Milner's price pupil called in to alleviate by homoeopathic methods, the effects of his 
preceptor's prescriptions, But we must return from Mr. Amery's oil-barrel to General 
Hertzog's haystack. 

What does the Colour Bar Bill do ? It purports to amend the " Mines and Works 
Act, 1911," upon the plea that it is necessary to enable certain colour-bar regulations to 


be TalidJy made which when attempted under that Act, were declared by the Courts 
ultra vfrts. Combined with the 1911 Act it empowers the Government to prohibit the 
em ployment of any persons not furnished by the appropriate Minister with ' certificates 
of competency, 11 as managers, overseers or surveyors in mine*, as mechanical engineers, 
engine-drivers, or blasters, or in any other class of job in, at or abont Mines Works and 
Machinery which he may from time to time deem it expedient to specify. " Mine " is 
defined with extreme comprehensiveness, and "Woikb" as including certain specified 
manufacturing industries, other than mining ( such as brickworks, lime kilns, sugar mills ) 
and generally " all places where machinery is erected or used M except State Railways 
and Harbours and Agricultural dams and reservoirs outside mining areas. The Courts 
having held that colour could not be made by Ministerial order a determinant of 
11 competency " for employments, the new Bill takes oft the gloves and boldly enacts that 
certificates of competency shall not be granted to natives or Asiatics : "natives * meaning 
African racials of unmixed blood and (< Asiatics " meaning Indians, but not Malays the 
Malay population and the people of mixed colour being shielded by the antique British 
sentimentalities of the Cape Colony where they are most numerous, by their established 
social and economic position there, and by the fact that they have both Parliamentary 
and municipal votes. 

Detestable and despicable Legislation. 

I am not concerned to discuss the excuses of the South African Labour Party for 
seeking to protect their industrial position by this detestable and despicable legislation, 
rather than by the methods of European Trade Unionism for example, of the British 
Medical Council in regard to the "competency 11 of Dr. Axharn. That Party frankly 
describes itself as a white aristocracy, and purposes to reserve all South African skilled 
employment for whites. There is no question of the capacity of Africans or Indians for 
becoming fully competent engineers and artificers. In some employments they do better, 
when trained, than white men. In Johannesburg white men can and do take their 
monopoly jobs at 60 a month and employ Kaffirs at 3 or 4 a month to do them. 
The white skilled workers, taking short views, are doubtless not greatly concerned, as is 
General Smuts, about the future reactions in Africa of this policy. It is, in effect, an 
outspoken declaration of a war of enslavement against natives and Asiatics, prescribing 
that in no industry using mechanical power, and in no other that this Government ( in 
which they have no franchise ) may hereafter designate, are they to be allowed to work 
except as unskilled labourers or to be deemed competent of exercising the abilities they 
possess, or of profiting by technical education. No enactment so abominable and so 
insane could be discovered among the records of legislation in British communities since 
slave-owners ceased to struggle against the tide of the human will to freedom. Fortunately, 
it is still only a South African party policy, even with white ascendancy secured by an 
exclusive franchise. There is strong opposition (voiced by General Smuts) and the 
Senate has already once rejected the Bill. If passed, it will assuredly bo remembered as a 
landmark in history. The gravity of its reaction on India's attitude towards British 
Government will be out of proportion to the positive oppressiveness of its application to 
Indians ( which is far less serious than its threat to Africa ) because, as General Smuts 
points out, it is concurrent with the Areas Regulation Bill, which is specially aimed at 

Class Areas Bill. 

The purpose of this Bill is to diminish by means of oppression the Indian population 
in South Africa with the ultimate aim of expelling it entirely. " The Bill, 11 said Dr, 
Malan, on introducing it, 

II frankly starts from the general supposition that the Indian, as a race, is an alien 

element in the population, and that no solution of this question will be accept- 
able to the country unless it results in a very considerable reduction of the 
Indian population. . . . The method which the Bill will propose will be the 
application of pressure. ... To a certain extent we go on the path which 
has been trodden before by my friends opposite, but this Bill does not rest there, 
it goes a good deal further. 1 ' 
The l( pressure 11 upon Indians to make life in South Africa unendurable to them it 

to be exercised : 

(1) By restricting, in townships, the right to acquire or lease real property, or to be 

licensed to trade, to defined areas. The urban authorities are to advise as to the setting* 

up of these ghettoes. Indians, having no municipal vote, will have no say in the matter. 

They will suffer from the extinction of their buii&eu outiide, and their oongejttoa withta 


the ghettoes. Their streets, sanitation, lighting; and water-supply are likely to receive 
Tery little attention from the Town Council, and doubtless (as occurred in Nairobi) this 
neglect will aggregate the reproach against them of insanitary habits of living. Further 
tarns of the screw may then be plausibly clamouied for. The power to grant renewal of 
trading licences anywhere is also discretionary, and this discretion is meant to be used. 

(2) By taking away the right of buying or leasing land anywhere in South Africa 
except in such areas as Natal only as may be allowed for them within thirty miles of the 
coast, and within such areas only from Indians already settled there. 

(3) It increases from 31 to 100 the bail which may be demanded front a returning 
domiciled Indian pending his demonstration by evidence of his right to return. 

(4) It includes in the Transvaal, for the purposes of this Act only, the districts of 
Utrecht and Vryheid, in order to enable Indians to be expelled from those mining dis- 
tricts by the operation of Transvaal law. 

(5) It encroaches, or opens the door for encroachments, on existing rights to domicile. 
The purpose of this (viz., to reduce numbers) is declared by the Minister. It restricts the 
already limited permission for the importation of wives and children of domiciled Indians, 
and cattails the existing rights of registration (for employment) in the Transvaal. 

Pettifogging Campaign of Argument. 

Indians claim that the Bill infringes the modus vwendi established by the Smuts- 
Gandhi agreement of 1914 and the principles agreed in the Imperial Conference of 1917 
and 1918. A pettifogging campaign of argument has been set afoot at the Cape, pretend- 
ing that the Smuts-Gandhi agreement guaranteed the then existing rights of Indians only 
in so far as they had been threatened by the Tiansvaal Gold Law, and further that Mr. 
Gandhi's quite proper and properly timed declaiation to General Smuts that the agree- 
ment did not fully satisfy what Indians felt to be their rightful claims (which, obviously, 
BO long as full civic rights were denied them no agreement could be expected to do) had 
absolved the Union Government from regarding it as binding upon themselves not- 
withstanding that the Indians have made no move to disturb it. These quibbles are idle. 
The present Union Government requires no such eyewash to tone the aspect of their avowed 
policy. Dr. Malan himself infoims General Smuts that he is going further than he 
did, that his Government is not limited by its predecessors engagement, that he aims at 
driving Indians into the sea by pressure exercised through diminishing the rights that 
were left to them in 1914. Signor Mussolini could not be more explicit. 

Contrary, therefore, to Queen Victoria's Proclamation annexing her Birth-day Colony, 
these two Bills declare that there shall be in the eye of the Law distinctions and dis- 
qualifications founded on mere distinction of colour or origin," and that " the protection 
of the Law " under which Indians have settled introduced by the State in South Africa 
shall not be extended impartially to them.' 

Now, quite apart from the intense indignation which Indians necessarily and 
honourably feel at discrimination against them on account of their race a disciimination 
which, following Gandhi's advice, they have endured patiently, in the hope of the education 
of Afrikander public opinion, here are substantial infractions of Indians' rights and 
means of existence deliberately contemplated for the puipose of " pressure." Appeal to 
the Secretary of State for the Dominions to interfere with the Union Government's action 
they know would be futile ; they remember its futility within this Colonial Office's own 
preserve in Kenya. Their case with the British Government, then, is thus : 

Infractions of Indians' Rights. 

" Your Secretary of State for India and your Parliament are concerned for our rights 
exactly as you would be for the rights of your own people when threatened in a 
foreign country. More so; for we acquired their rights under the sanction of your 
own (however nominal) sovereignty. You declared that responsibility when you wished 
to annex the Transvaal, making claims then on behalf of the Queen s Indian subjects. 
We allege infractions of onr rights as the King's subject. Your Governors-General, 
in an unbroken series, have told you, uncompromisingly that these claims, ever since 
our rights began to be threatened, were in their judgment just. They have held 
ome ground for us. Gandhi showed us how to hold some on our own behalf. But 
fia battle has been a losing one all along. We arc now to be subjected to further 
pressure. Either you must take such sttps on our behalf as you would take on behalf 
c* your own nationals as the Irish Free State would take if Liverpool and Glasgow 
demarded that pressure should be exercised upon Irishmen because they are industrious 
and prolific, or you must admit your guardianship to be impotent and a pretence. You, 
our eeKappointed trustees, muit yourselves intervene as a party in this contention in 


which your agent, the Viceroy, tells you our rights are at stake. Some Court mast be 
found which if it cannot enjoin suspension of this persecution can at any rate impartially 
and equitably assess the weight of our claims and elaborate some compromise, conciliation 
or compensation. We have revered your Sovereigns, the symbol of British Power, because 
they stood in our minds for those principles which Sonth Africa is now openly abrogating. 
Be assured that these principles are a bond between us, and that reliance upon thorn is 
the only bond effectual to maintain our consent to be part of your Empire. Your Govern- 
ment in 1923 was prepared to sacrifice us to Afrikanderism in Kenya. That policy was 
in some degree restrained by the Labour Government, and we, in response, have abandoned 
our policy of intransgience there. But if you cannot protect us against aggression, if 
your Dominions insult our people unchecked, if even their material and economic interests 
can be strangled without redress under your protection, the Indian people will judge that 
what the Swaraj Party tell them is true, and that under such conditions membership of 
your Empire is for India both unprofitable and dishonouring. 1 ' 


A month later Lord Olivier wrote the following in the "Foreign 

The measure described as " The Areas Reservation and Immigration and Registration 
(Further Provjsion) Bill," recently introduced in the South African Union Parliament, has 
for its declared object the diminution of the existing population of Indians in South Africa, 
by the exercise of what the Minister introducing it described as " pressure," or more 
definitely speaking, by oppression : that is to bay, by the withdrawal of existing rights 
and the application of increasing disabilities to a degree which may render life in South 
Africa intolerable to Indians who have settled and founded families there, under the 
direct encouragement of South African Governments, especially that of Natal, during tha 
last sixty-six years. 

There are now about 156,000 persons of Indian birth or descent in the Dominion, 
Of these about 133,000 are m Natal, 12,000 in the Transvaal Province, 8,000 in the Cape, 
and 600 in the Orange Free State. In the Transvaal, ever since the establishment of 
self-government under the Union constitution, special disabilities have been imposed on 
Indians, in accordance with the Dutch Afrikander Colour Policy, but in Natal and the 
Cape they have been under no disabilities, except that of diefranchisement, for Parlia- 
mentary purposes, founded on a provision in the Constitution excluding from such 
franchise natives of any country not at the time possessing elective representative institu- 
tions. This disability was not removed from Indians when the new Indian constitution 
establishing such institutions was established. Until quite recently Indians in Natal 
enjoyed, as they do in Cape Colony, the municipal franchise, but this was withdrawn 
last year. The Government of Natal had twice previously enacted this disfranchisement 
but the laws had been disallowed. On this last re-enactment, General Uertzog's Govern- 
ment allowed it. 

Anti-Indian Legislation. 

The legislation now on the stocks proposes to withdraw from Indians the right of 
buying or leasing land anywhere in the Union, except within a belt of thirty miles from 
the Natal coast, and within this belt only inside such areas as may be determined. It 
also provides that in township Indians are not represented. Within the Natal Coast belt 
Indians will only be permitted to buy or lease property or to be licensed for business 
within certain defined areas, to be set up on the recommendation of the local municipality 
(in which Indians will only be permitted to buy or lease property from other Indiani 
already in possession of it.) Indians 1 licenses to trade where already held outside the 
permitted areas will ostensibly be renewable to their present holders, but they may be 
withdrawn and the unconcealed intention of the policy is that they shall be withdrawn. 

The Indian population in Natal was founded by the introduction of immigrants by 
the Government for the sugar plantations, and this immigration was energetically pressed 
for many years. Recruiting was persistently carried on in India, and its purposes were 
effected by persuasion and promises of the advantages which Indians would enjoy in a 
British Colony, founded on the basis of a Royal Proclamation decreeing that no disability 
or limitation of legal rights should be imposed upon anyone by reason of colour, race, or 
religion. The earlier immigrants were encouraged to settle by grants of land. They 
were not allowed to return to India until five years after the expiry of their first in- 
dentures. Concurrently with the importation of labourers for the sugar plantations 
many free Indians were encouraged to come in as traders for the supply of the needs of 


their fellow countrymen. Of these traders and their descendants, as well as of those of 
the plantation coolies, a good many flocked into the South African Republic after the 
gold discover iee, and in spite of the persecution to which they were exposed, and which 
was made a special cause of complaint against Kruger's Government and one of the pleas 
for the South African War, established prosperous business there. 

Afrikander Policy. 

The present policy of the Anti-Indian Legislation is partly a manifestation of the 
colour prejudice and the deliberate policy of subordinating coloured races which is 
specially characteristic of Dutch Afrikanderism, and is the accepted policy of General 
Hertzog's Government in its present association with the White South Afiican Labour 
Party, who also aim at establishing, by legislation, a privileged pobition tor themselves. 
This aspect of the policy I shall deal with in a later article on the Colour Bar Bill now 
also under consideration of the Union Parliament. The other plea for the Areas Reserva- 
tion Bill is the fear of trading competition by Indians. This can only be regarded as 
deserving of consideration in the Colony of Natal. I do not propose to go deeply into 
the case for it. The Indian population in Natal is now increasing very slowly whilst 
the white population is increasing comparatively fast, thus showing that Indian competi- 
tion does not depress it. The great bulk of the Indian population is, in fact, agricultural, 
and does not seriously compete to the detriment of the classes of cultivation carried on 
by white residents. The strongest outcry comes from the small trading classes. The 
whole case for disquiet at Indian competition was examined and reported on about five 
years ago by a special commission under Mr. Jubtice'Lang. This commission, which 
was appointed rather in the hope of 1 Hiding a case for anti-Indian legislation made an 
exceedingly perspicuous and fair-minded report from which, reading between the lines, 
it is abundantly clear that they thought the case for such legislation an exceedingly 
weak one. Nevertheless, General Smuts' Government was iorced by the clamour of his 
constituents among the enfranchised interests concerned to propose legislation somewhat 
on the lines of the present Bill. That legislation did not reach maturity, and the Bill 
now introduced by General Hertzog's Government is a good deal more drastic. 

Encroachment on Guaranteed Bights. 

Whatever may be, from the point of view of South Africans, the justification of a 
policy of excluding Asiatics from settlement which, BO far as immigration is concerned, 
is now completely established, and not protested against by Indians, or of a desire that 
the present Indian population should, if possible, be by equitable means reduced, the 
questions raised by this Bill are far wider. Repeated attempts have been made in South 
Africa to encroach upon the rights both actually guaranteed to Indians when they entered 
the country and assured to them by the unquestioned Common law and principle repeatedly 
proclaimed as dominant in the British Empire. The Indian Government have, with 
more or less success and with some defeat?, continuously protested against and resisted 
encroachments upon these rights. The Imperial Government have supported them and 
have on occasion disallowed local laws infringing them. In 1914, Mr. Gandhi, by 
organising passive resistance in the Transvaal, succeeded in bringing the South African 
Government to a moderately reasonable attitude and an agreement was entered into by 
General Smuts, which was regarded both by Gandhi and by the Indian Government as 
a guarantee against further encroachments. Further encroachments are now threatened 
with all the authority of a self-governing Union Parliament. Existing rights are to be 
taken away and disabilities are to be imposed without compensation m order to exercise 
effectual "pressure." Having regard to the peculiar position of the British Government 
in relation to the Indian Constitution, the situation is one which calls for a new depar- 
ture and development of the principles of inter-dominion Impeiial policy. So far the 
Indian Government has been left to negotiate the best case it can with the South African 
Government. The attitude of the latter was at first entirely obstructive. What they did 
in South Africa on lines of settled policy they considered their own concern, and that 
of no one else. Recently, perhaps in view of the speech of the Viceroy of India in the 
Legislative Assembly, and possibly of expressions of opinion in the English Press, the 
Union Government have indicated their willingness to treat on the matter ; and whereas 
they had at first refused to allow the Indian deputation a hearing, they have now gone 
BO far as to allow the Bill to go to a Special Committee before the Second Reading is 
moved. The Indian Deputation has been arguing before that Committee. 

Wanted An Imperial Court of Equity. 

But it is not the Indian local Government that has the final responsibility in this 
matter. The Secretary of State for India 10 the authority finally responsible to the Crown 


for the Interests of India, and his reponsibility ia to and through the Imperial Parliament 
The Secretary of State is therefore a patty in this case, and he IB bound to see that the 
interests of Indians are properly maintained and guaranteed just as the Foreign Secretary 
would be bound to see that the interest of British subjects were guaranteed against any 
similar encroachments of threat by a foreign Government. 

In view of the recurrent and apparently increasing tendency in South African policy 
to persecute Indians, against which there has been an unbroken and most impressive 
stream of protest on the part of responsible English statesmen, leaving no doubt of the 
views of successive British Governments on this subject, the time is corae when a period 
should be put to this policy of pin pricks and aggression, against which the Indian 
Government has to contend in the first place with its own energies and cannot rely on 
any authoritative exercise of the Royal prerogative in defence of its Nationals against 
the pominion I^aws . 

Indian Emigration in Fiji 

Mahatma Gandhi wrot/e the following in " Young India " : 
The report on the condition of returned emigrants stranded in Calcutta submitted to 
the Council of the Imperial Indian Citizenship Association makes painful reading. It 
appears that there are over 2,000 returned emigrants in Calcutta living in pqualid surround- 
ings. They are from Fiji, Trinidad, Surinam, and British Guiana. < The desire to visit 
their motherland and the rumour that India had obtained self -Government were the two 
chief reasons which led them to leave their birth-place, 1 But they find that their own 
people in their villages will not have them and so they want to go back to the place 
where they have come from. "Anywhere out of India ' is their cry ." Meantime they 
are eking out a miserable existence in Calcutta. They all looked famished. Their lot 
is the lowest ebb of human misery." The fact that the majority of these men are Colonial 
born aggravates their misery. The reader will not appreciate the full meaning of being 
1 Colonial born. 1 These men are neither Indian nor colonial. They have no Indian 
culture in the foreign lands they go to, save what they pick up from their uncultured 
half-dis-IndiariiRed parents. They are not Colonial in that they are debarred access to the 
Colonial i.e., Western culture. They are therefore out of the frying pan into the fire. 
There at least they had some money and a kind of a home. Here they are social lepers, not 
even knowing the language of the people. 

Therefore the report bugpests that it is the clear duty of the Government to send them 
back to the most suitable colony that would receive them. The tropical Colonies must be 
plad to have them in preference to raw recruits who have to be initiated. The duty is 
clearly the Government's. For they alonp can carry on negotiations with the various 
Colonies. This duty should have been discharged long ago, The Imperial Citizenship 
Association has made the following appeal to the Government : 

" With reference to returned Indian emigrants from Fiji, British Huiana, Trinidad 
and other Colonies, now stranded in Calcutta, thp Council of the Imperial Indian Citizen- 
ship Association, through a representative specially sent from here for the purpose, has 
trade investigations on the spot, and in the light of those investigations, I have the 
honour to submit the following recommendations for the immediate consideration of the 
Government of India. 

1. The Government of Fiji should be requested to extend the duration of the 
moratorium for free passages to Freed indentured labourers from 1930 to 1935. 

2. The returned Indian emigrants from British Guiana of whom there are several 
hundreds now in Calcutta and elsewhere and who are anxious to go back should be 
included in the Government of India's scheme of emigration of 500 families to British 

8. The Government of India should, without further delay, establish Emigrants' 
Depots in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. These Dppots should be organised on the 
basis of the Indian Emigrants' Friendly Society which was established in Calcutta in 
1922 and was dissolved in 1923. This Society looked after the interest of emigrants in 


every way and wai managed by a local Committee of both official and non-officials and 
was very largely financed by the Government of India. 

"In view of the fact that another boat with several hundreds of emigrants is 
expected in Calcutta next month, my Council hopes that the Government of India will 
realise the gravity of the situation and act in a manner which will not only relieve the 
distress now prevalent but also effectively prevent further congestion and suffering." 

For the time being it will be enough if the stranded men get the relief asked for. 

But the innocent-looking appeal raises broad and fundamental questions which must 
not be discussed in this brief notice of the special circumstances brought to light by the 
report. They must not be allowed to confuse the one clear issue which awaits immediate 
treatment. The broad questions however are : 

1. The whole of the emigration policy. 

2. The special case of British Guiana and Fiji. 

8. The scope of, the friendly societies referred to in the appeal. 
4. The duty of the cation by the outgoing and returning emigrants. 
The consideration of these questions requires a more favourable occasion and a more 
thorough treatment that can be given them at the present moment. 

Govt. Reply to Mr, J. B. Petit. 

The following is the copy of the communication addressed to Mr. J. B. 
Petiti Honorary Secretary of the Imperial Citizenship Association by the 
Deputy Secretary of the Government of India, Education Department. 

In my letter No. 498, dated the 24th July, the Association were informed that the 
suggestions made in its telegram, dated the 20th July, 1926 were under considerations. 
These suggestions were : 

(1) That the period, within which certain class of persons who had emigrated to 
Fiji under indenture may claim free repatriation, should be extended to 1925. 

(2) That returned emigrants from British Guiana, several hundreds of whom are 
alleged to be stranded in Calcutta should, if they are anxious to go back to the colony, 
be allowed to avail themselves of the scheme of emigration which has recently been 
approved by the Government of India ; and 

(3) That friendly emigration depots, similar to the one which was established at 
Calcutta in 1921 should be set up at Calcuttta, Bombay, and Madras. 

Recommendations (2) and (3) were presumably baeed on investigations which a 
representative of the Association had made at Calcutta into the conditions of repatriates 
who have settled there. I am to state for the information of the Association that the 
Government of India had also teen accounts of distiess among th<*se returned emigranti 
in the press and aeked the local Government t-> make enqinnea. From the report received 
by them it appeals that there are about 800 repatriates fiora the various colonies who 
are living in the neighbourhood of Calcutta. Theie is said to be considerable discontent 
among them owing to the fact that they find conditions of woik in this country harder 
and less remunerative than in the colonies. They also probably find the social restraints 
of their class in India somewhat strange and not altogether agreeable. For these reasons 
they appear anxious to return to the colonies. But almost all of them are said to have 
found employment in the dock and local mills and n few are earning rather good wages. 
In the circumstances, the Government of India do not think that any real need exists 
to give effect to suggestion (3). The circumstances of 1921 were exceptional as distress 
among newly returned emipiants was conbiderable. The Government of India propose, 
however, to consult the local Government concerned regarding the need of Government 
initiative in the direction suggested. The question of permitting such of these repatriates 
as can be assisted under Section 2 (1), (b), (i) of the Indian Emigration Act, 1922 
(VII of 1922) to return to British Guiana is receiving consideration. They will also be 
permitted to participate in the scheme for the immigration of 500 families to British Guiana 
under the terms and conditions set forth in the notification of the Government of India 
No. 240-0 vcrseas, dated 23rd March 1925, as soon as that scheme comes into operation. 

2 % As rrgaids suggestion (1), I am to say that the Government of India do not 
thick that there is any necessity at this stage to atk the Government of Fiji to extend 
by another five years the period within which indentured labourers introduced into that 
colony who are now free may claim a return passage to India. 

The Legislative Assembly 

Provincial Councils 

July-De[cember 1926 

The Legislative Assembly 


H. E. Lord Irwin, in bis first address to the Central Legislature in 
opening the autumn session on the 17th August in state, made striking 
observations on matters constitutional and communal. He also briefly sur- 
veyed the various administrative matters engaging the attention of the 
Government. Public galleries of the Assembly were packed to the full. 
Lady Irwin was in the Viceregal Box. The Chamber was full, a large number 
of members of both houses with the exception of the Swarajists being present. 

The Viceroy's Address. 

Lord IRWIN, in welcoming the members, declarer! that he intended to dissolve the 
Assembly next month to b followed by general election in November. In the circums- 
tances, he thanked the members for affording him an opportunity of making their 
acquaintance and of acknowledging the work they had done in the past session of both 
houses. Apart from the needs of public business, it was the desire to provide himself with 
such opportunity that was largely responsible for his decision to hold this session, for he 
did not forget that when he would next address the Legislature in January the ballot 
box would have had to bow to its remorseless decree. 

Foreign Relations. 

Touching foreign relations, the Viceroy referred to the continuance of friendly rela- 
tions with Nepal, Afghanistan and the adjoining countries. 

The Mosul settlement had removed an outstanding obstacle to an understanding 
with Turkey and been hailed with satisfaction by the Muslim community. 

The South African Conference. 

In the sphere of Imperial policy, the tact and dignity with which the Paddison 
Deputation stated the Indian cause combined with the valued support from the unofficial 
labours of Mr. Andrews and the broad-minded statesmanship of General Herlzog had 
resulted in the forthcoming Conference at Cape Town. The personnel of the Indian 
delegation to this Conference which would shortly be announced would satisfy the 
Indian public that India's case would be worthily presented. Meanwhile a representa- 
tive deputation from South Africa was visiting India. This exchange of visits would 
enable both countries to appreciate one another's difficulties, leading to harmonious 
relation. India could not afford to treat this question of which the roots lay more deeply 
bedded in human nature than our philosophy could discern as susceptible of easy decision 
by the application of coercive force. The solution must be based upon mutual aocommo* 
dation and carry free assent of both communities. 

Government Loans. 

Coming to domestic matters, the Viceroy alluded to the conspicuous success of the 
recent rupee loan the terms of which compared very favourably with those obtained for 
long term loans by even those Governments whose credit stood highest in the world's 
money markets. There would, therefore, be no difficulty in replacing on favourable terms 
the remaining short term liabilities. 

The Currency Bill. 

The Currency Bill which would be introduced this session would embody two chief 
recommendations of the Hilton Young Commission and Lord Irwin hoped that so great 
and weighty a subject would be examined not in the light of any local interests upon 
the economic and commercial prosperity of the whole country. 


The Agricultural Commission. 

Hie Excellency informed that reports of enquiries by the Tariffs Boards into the 
steel industry and the textile industry would be submitted within the next three months 
in time for consideration at the next Delhi session. The Royal Commission on Agricul- 
ture had, in Lord Linlithgow, one who combined practical experience in farming with 
lifelong study of its scientific theory. His colleagues had knowledge of practical agri- 
culture, rural economy, science and engineering and were, therefore, well fitted to analyse 
allied questions on which agriculturists* prosperity depended. 

Railway Development. 

The Railway Board had also devoted particular attention to the development of 
traffic and it was hoped to add six thousand miles of railway which would be remunera- 
tive and a boon to the country they would serve. 

The Public Service Commission. 

The Public Service Commission would commence its work in October. Orders 
passed on the Lee Commission Report involved marked increase in the Indianisation of 
the great public services. The Public Service Commission would improve our machinery 
for recruiting Indians. The Commission would also assure to the services, in their capa- 
city as an impartial Court of reference, protection in the honest performance of duties 
from all influences, political personal or communal. The power which had already been 
given to local Governments to organise such new provincial service as they may require 
represented an important step in increasing the control of Ministers over transferred 

In regard to the Central Services with a few exceptions it had been decided that the 
central should be delegated by the Secretary of State to the Government of India. Neces- 
sary rules on the subject were under preparation. With Ithe completion of this task 
and the settlement of the problem of the Indian Medical Services, action on the 
Lee recommendations would practically be complete and a reorganisation of the service 
of a very striking character would have been accomplished. 

The Constitutional Problem. 

Referring to the constitutional problem the Viceroy pointed out that they could no 
more deny the fundamental duty of Parliament to assist India and judge of the progress 
made than they could deny the ultimate claim which India made and to the satisfaction of 
which they work. It was certain that before this claim would be fully realised, many 
obstacles imposed by history, circumstance and nature would need to be surmounted. 
While past achievements of progress had been the happy fruit of joint Indian and British 
effort, now in the solution of the present difficulties, each race had an indispensable part 
to take. The purpose of the statutory enquiry in 1929 was to atcertian the degree of 
efficiency or otherwise with which the policy of 1919 had proceeded. The existing scheme 
bad been criticised in various quarters. 

Lord Irwin acknowledged the honesty of conviction of those who criticised it. He 
should be the last to desire that, in taking their share of the common task for the service 
of India, anybody should be required or expected to abandon the principles which they 
revered. It was no part of British purpose to seek to force India into a mould, unfriendly 
to the main feature of Indian life and character. Events between DOW and the Com- 
mission's enquiry could not fail to exert great influence upon the conclusions of that body. 

Communal Relations, 

Unhappily, the burning question was the feeling between the communities. Time 
was required to lay its healing hand on the wound that was now wasting the civil life- 
Meanwhile the Government had obligations to law-abiding citizens. Although these 
matters were the primary concern of Provincial Governments, the form in which they 
were now emerging made them of an all-India interest, It was the duty of the executive 
authorities to secure that subject to the rights of others and the preservation of publio 
peace, which the enjoyment of those rights has secured to every individual. This duty 
which the Government of India, in co- ope rat on with local Governments desired, should be 
performed with fairness and scrupulous impartiality. In times of communal tension, 
untenable claims of rights and exaggerated opposition had from time to time caused 
anxiety to the authorities. 

The antagonism which some members of sections of communities had recently displayed 
appeared, to some extent, to be based not so much on traditional loyalty to any creed 
as on new assertions of abstract principles. The Government had DO intention of allowing 


any unjust or unreasonable claims, still less any violence or threat of violence to deter 
them from the duty of maintaining public peace and BO far as was compatible with the 
rights of others, the right of individual citizen to pursue unhampered his lawful avoca- 
tions. The present state of affairs was one which must, so long as it lasted, cause the 
gravest anxiety to all well-wishers of India. The Secretary of State had reaffirmed not 
only his real sympathy with the hopes of Indians but also his determination to lead them 
by the safest and surest path towards the goal they desired to reach. 


It is my earnest hope, therefore, said Lord Irwin, that the course of public affairs 
in the years immediately before us may be such as will justify the hopes of those who 
have seen in the Reforms, tentative and imperfect as they may be, a generous attempt to 
equip India with practical experience which is requisite if she is to undertake successfully 
an increasing share in her own government. India has an abundance of ability but 
some of it in the past had been directed along lines that could at best lead to no useful 
result. In future, the whole of India's resources are needed for constructive tasks which 
have ever enlisted human energies and hopes. 

SIMLA 1 8 TH TO 20 TH AUGUST 1926. 

The Hon'ble Mr. Patel took the chair at 11 A.M., on the 18TH 
AUGUST when the Assembly met for the first day of its last session. 
Attendance was fair. The Swarajists' benches were generally empty. 

Playing of Music before Mosque. 

During interpellations, the first important question was asked by Mr. 
Harchandrai Vishindas regarding communal riots and playing of music before 
mosque. To this Sir Alexander Muddiman, replying, explained the Govern- 
ment's position as follows : 

" The Government agree that every citizen has a right to use the public 
highways for religious and other processions in the manner established by 
custom and tradition, but the right is subject to the exercise of similar 
rights of others and to any orders passed in public interest by competent 
authority. Religious disturbances in India are no novelty unfortunately, 
They have occurred from time to time in many places, particularly when 
festivals or holidays of two great religions have fallen at the same season 
and when one party desires to lead a procession past the places of worship 
belonging to the other, or raises objection to observance of some religious 
rite. I may mention as an instance that a memorial was submitted to the 
Government of India in 1882 asking them to maintain the existing practice 
by which music was stopped before a mosque in a certain town. The cor- 
respondence of the period show that the question was then the cause of 
acute friction between the parties. It is impossible to say when this parti- 
cular objection was first raised or first gave rise to rioting, It is reasonable 
to suppose that it also dates from a period of which no exact records remain. 
The Government of India do not contemplate introducing legislation of 
the kind suggested, Apart from the difficulty of ascertaining, in the face 
of conflicting reports and claims, what the custom in a particular locality 
has been, H. . the Viceroy, in his recent speech at the Chelmsford Club, 
Simla, made it clear that in the view of the Government of India, the 
remedy for the present troubles is not to be sought in legislation but in 
an improvement in the mutual attitude of leaders and members of the 
communities at variance. Executive action must clearly be left to the 
authority in immediate charge of the area in which trouble has arisen or is 
likely totalise and its character must vary with circumstances of place and 


Sir Alexander then placed on the table a statement giving statistics of 
communal rioting for the whole of India for the last three years. So far as 
details of occurrences had been reported to the Central Government) the state- 
ment shows that riots occurred in 71 places and were responsible for about 
3000 injured both slightly and seriously and about 260 deaths. The series of 
recent Calcutta riots alone were responsible for half the number of total 
deaths and little less than half the number of injured. Next to Calcutta 
stood Kohat and Saharanpur* 

Official Bills Introduced. 

The business of the day consisted of swearing in of 16 new members 
and motions for the introduction of eight official bills. These were (a) 
The Currency Bill (b) The Workmen's Compensation Act Amend. Bill (c) 
The Usurious Loans Act Amend. Bill (d) The Civil Procedure Code Amend. 
Bill (*) The Factories Act Amend. Bill (/) The Negotiable Instruments Act 
Amend. Bill (g) The Civil Procedure Code Amend, Bill and (A) The Indian 
Succession Act Amend. Bill. The Assembly then adjourned to meet again 
on the next day, the 18TH AUGUST when the Taxation Enquiry Committee 
Report was discussed. 


Sir Basil Blackett moved : " This Assembly recommends to the 
GovernorGeneraHn-Council that he be pleased to take into consideration the 
report of the Taxation Enquiry Committee ". 

In moving the resolution Sir Basil stated that it was human to regard all 
taxation as robbery. His appreciation of the popular sentiment, however, did 
not allow him to suggest that taxation should be lessened and eventually 
withdrawn altogether. He emphasised that the Meston settlement would not 
end until the bugbear of provincial contributions was abolished. The Govern- 
ment of India's policy was, therefore, to extinguish provincial contributions 
first before attempting reduction in the central taxation in such a manner as 
would enable the provincial tax-payer to be capable of meeting the advance 
on his purse that would be made by local Government, in order to expand 
their nation-building activities. 

Sir Sivaswami Iyer started the opposition ball rolling. He explained 
how it was premature, unwise and impracticable for non-officials to offer 
their views. It was premature because the Government had not come for- 
ward with their own proposals. It was unwise because any opinion offered 
by the Assembly in favour of any taxation might amount to giving a carte 
llanche to the Executive Government to raise their sources of revenue and 
possibly swell Army expenditure. It was impracticable because, under the 
statute, the non-officials had no responsibility for any constructive proposals 
in taxation. He, therefore, warned the Assembly not to fall into the trap 
set by Sir Basil in his apparently innocuous but really dangerous motion for 
the Indian non-officials. The adjournment sine die, moved by Mr. Ranga- 
ohariar, was eventually carried, the Government remaining neutral, The 
House then adjourned. 


On the 20TH AUGUST, the House re-assembling, Sir Alexander 
Mudditnan moved for leave to introduce the bill to amend the Criminal 
Procedure Code BO as to bring all documents which offended against 

*3 AUG. ^a6] THE CURRENCY BlLt 20^ 

section 153 A. I.P.C., within the scope of power of forfeiture con- 
ferred in respect of seditious documents by section 99-A of the Criminal 
Procedure Code. He said that the Government of India, in the course of 
a general examination of the possibilities of ameliorating the communal 
situation, took up the question of sufficiency of the existing law to deal with 
one danger, namely circulation of pamphlets and newspaper articles tending 
to promote communal hostility. It was undoubtedly true that such writings 
were in some cases the direct cause of outbreaks of violence. 

Continuing the Home Member explained that it was possible under 
section 108 of Cr. P. C. to proceed against those who promoted by speech 
or disseminated by literature communal hatred. Thus individual speakers 
and those engaged in the actual publication and distribution of literature 
could be dealt with, but while under section 153- A, it was possible to take 
proceedings against individuals there were no effective powers to search for 
or confiscate newspapers or leaflets containing matters offending against 
section 153-A. I.P.C. This was a very serious defect in law. Indeed, the 
absence of this power was a serious handicap to the Government in preven- 
ting excitement of communal feelings and his bill proposed to amend section 
99-A. to give power to search and confiscate all matters punishable under 
section 1 53-A. in the same way as was at present provided for in respect 
of seditious matter. He was sure that at the present juncture when this 
house had recently received a long list of communal outbreaks which he laid 
on the table, the House would give him leave to introduce the Bill. 

Sir H. S. Gour's Questions. 

Sir Hari Singh Gour asked whether local Governments and public opinion 
had been consulted in the matter. The Homo member replied that the public 
had not been consulted, but the local Governments were consulted, when a 
few months ago they were addressed on the general question of communal 
situation with a view to find out how the unhappy communal troubles could 
be alleviated. 

Dr. Gour : Will this correspondence be made available to the member ? 

The Home member : No. Because it contained many other matters 
besides the subject matter of the bill. My proposal will stand on its own 

Dr. Qour : -Then circulate relevant extracts. 

The Home member : In the course of my speech in moving consider 
ation of the bill, I will no doubt refer to the opinions of local Governments, 
but I am not prepared to separate from the text opinions on this matter and 
even if I did, it would not be of any great use to the members. 

Dr. Gour : Will the Home member circulate this Bill for public opinion. 

The Home member : I consider that the communal situation is so 
serious that I propose to ask this House to take the bill into consideration 
at the earliest opportunity. The Home member then introduced the bill and 
the House adjourned till the 23rd after only half an hour's sitting. 

S1MLA-23RD -27TH AUGUST 1926. 
The Currency Bill. 

Tense excitement prevailed when the Assembly met on the 23rd 
August in the afternoon. The sitting was in some respects of exceptional 
Interest since the Swarajists, had, for the first time after their walk-out 


last March, walked in on this day to take part in the discussion on a 
matter of vital importance, namely, the Currency Bill. 

In moving for the introduction of the Currency Bill Sir Basil 
BLACKETT briefly gave a historical retrospect beginning with the Herschell 
report of 1893 which definitely marked the end of the mono-metallic silver 
standard for India. Since then, India had been endeavouring to cover the 
chasm between gold and silver standard. He rapidly surveyed the con- 
ditions brought about by the war and how the attempt to stabilise it in 1920 
failed as it was bound to fail. Since his arrival he said he had never 
defended the pre-war system or the system or want of system that prevailed 
when he came out to India. He had since then advocated that another 
attempt to stabilise must wait till world conditions held out the hope of 
stabler conditions, and that in the meantime India's finances should be put 
in order. He was sure that as within five years of the Herschell report 
sterling exchange standard was established in the place of the old mono- 
metallic silver standard, so within five years from now would the Hilton. 
Young report lead them from the transition exchange standard of the last 
30 years to real gold standard. The Commission's proposals regarding gold 
standard and a reserve bank offered the quickest possible means of advance 
to gold currency if India so desired. He did not entirely agree with the 
Commission's criticism of the Finance Department's plan for gold currency 
but arguments regarding the effect on the silver market were formidable. 
He was convinced on reading the evidence that in the absence of American 
collaboration, the Commission had properly recommended a more cautious 
method of progression in future. However, gold currency could be grafted 
on to the gold bullion standard now recommended. The report was really 
unanimous except on the question of a reserve bank where the views were 
not really irreconcilable and on exchange ratio. While considering the 
fundamental structure proposed by the Commission, the question of ratio 
was of minor importance in the final analysis. Big legislative measures 
ultimately resulting from the report would be of vastly greater importance. 
The Bill before the House was purely a transitional measure and the question 
of exchange ratio was of immediate and vital importance to the interests of 
India. He emphasised that unless he was assured that the control of 
currency and credit policy and of banking and currency reserve was to be 
united in a single authority outside the Government, he would have hesita- 
ted before advocating the assumption of indefinite statutory obligation to 
maintain the exchange within upper and lower gold point of any fixed ratio. 

Sir Basil Blackett here made an impassioned appeal to either side for 
conceding to the other the same honesty of purpose and loyalty to the 
interests of India as it claimed to itself in pressing its own point of view. 
He baa according to his conscience and judgment done the best to serve 
India. Let suspicion be removed. Otherwise they ran the risk of the 
prize being snatched away from their grasp, for the report was epochmak- 
ing and immense benefit was derivable from it. " Let us avoied hitting 
below the belt. I repudiate as utterly baseless the suggestion that IB. 4d. 
is the Indian view and Is. 6d. the non-Indian view." The Bill was to give 
effect to the recommendation for immediate action embodying in a 
statutory form the public announcement already made by the Government 
of its acceptance of an obligation. Statutory enforcement of this obligation 
on the Government, so long as it remained the currency authority, WM the 

3 Aua. f a6] THE CURRENCY BILL 207 

first and main purpose of the Bill. These provisions would automatically 
give India what she never had before, namely, a standard definitely linked 
to gold by statutory enactment. India would, when the Bill became law, 
have advanced definitely on to a statutory currency standard for the first 
time since the closing of mints to silver in 1893. The House, in agreeing to 
take the Bill into consideration, would be committed only to this, that the 
stabilisation of the rupee was desirable at once and that a statutory obliga- 
tion to maintain the rate within gold points was imposed. To undertake 
this obligation, gold parity of the rupee must be fixed by the statute and 
rate chosen for the purpose was Is. 6d. recommended by the Commission. 
He would defend this against Is. 4d. later. Similarly he would defend later 
the proposed demonetization of the sovereign, for the Commission held that 
the adoption of the gold bullion standard made it impossible to have any 
gold coin as legal tender without risking the stability of the new system. 

The Finance Member finally defended himself against unjust accusations 
of precipitancy. Would they not have accused him of deliberately ignoring, 
flouting and insulting the legislature ? Would not a torrent of accusation 
have rolled forth in the House and in the press if the Government had 
quietly announced the intention to maintain the ratio of Is. 6d. without 
asking for the Legislature's opinion from August to February 1 It was in 
the interest of India, particularly in view of the forthcoming busy season, 
that the uncertainty which was now avoidable should be removed. India 
wanted first and foremost stability. Uncertainty would have benefitted 
only the profiteer and speculator at the expense of both the producer and 
the consumer. He agreed that both members and the Government would 
have liked to have more time to consider the report, and the Government 
would have been glad to come with a full statement regarding their conclusion 
on the report as a whole, thereby avoiding the accusation of piece-meal 
legislation, but once the report was published, the uncertainty had to be 
removed and the period of consultation with the Legislature had to be as 
short as possible. He recognised the desire of the House to secure ample 
time for a considered ]udgment. His motion raised three issues, Did the 
House consider that the time had come to stabilize the rupee at the ratio 
which would be at once statutory and effective 1 Did the House wish to 
impose a statutory obligation, never before imposed, to maintain the ratio 
iu all circumstances and did the House wish immediate legislative action in 
advance of the consideration of other recommendations in the report ? The 
Commission had unanimously recommended that those steps be taken. He 
therefore commended the Bill to the House. 

Mr. Kangachariar'a Amendment. 

Dewan Bahadur RANGACHARIAR moved for circulating the Bill for 
eliciting opinion thereon. He moved his proposal with diffidence as the 
subject was technical. He felt that the matter was so complex that more time 
was required for considering the various issues. He joined with the Finance 
Member in paying tribute to the members of the Commission who had 
produced an able and lucid report and had acted honestly, primarily 
in the interest of India. He acknowledged too the ability with which 
Sir Basil had handled India's finance for the last four years. They all 
had their bias and he was sure the Finance Member too, being human, 
bad his bias. The selfish interests of the speaker as a big landlord 


dictated the support of la. 4d. but he realized that the interest of the country 
as a whole should influence their judgment. He confessed that he was 
at sea in reading the report. There was also the consideration that an 
atmosphere of prejudice had been worked up immediately on the publi- 
cation of the report. The House was expected to give its beat judgment in 
considering the proposal to impose the statutory obligation that Sir Basil had 
asked for. The speaker had read some parts of the evidence, but he wanted 
more time to finish the rest. In his professional capacity, he had dealt with 
many problems, but currency and exchange were beyond him, and the 
same must be the feeling of moat of the members of the House. Where 
experts differed the best method waa to mark time and proceed cautiously. 
He argued in reference to Sir Basil's argument that it was no use in 
the House assenting to the principle that the time had come to stabilize 
the rupee without at the same time deciding what the ratio of the 
exchange should be. He had no doubt that they accept the Commission's 
unanimous view that if prices had adjusted to a de facto rate it must be 
accepted, but it was in dispute whether adjustment had already taken place 
and whether it was not being maintained by artificial means. Moreover, 
be felt that internal prices had not been takon fully into consideration by 
the Commission. He also felt that mercantile interests affected by the ratio 
had not been given time to examine the report and express their considered 
opinion. He considered it unwise on the part of the Government to have 
come forward with the bill so soon. He read from the evidence of Sir 
Stanley Roed that the Government deliberately prevented the ratio falling 
while the Commission was sitting. This artificiality was to be deprecated 
especially as it could not enable them to judge whether the de facto rate 
was truly representing the natural position of the market. Decision should, 
therefore, be referred to the next session. Probably, some of the sitting 
members would not be returned. He for one did not expect to be in the 
next Assembly. The speaker finally declared that he would prefer to see 
all the proposals of the Commission being dealt with together as a com- 
prehensive whole. He particularly deprocated the Government picking 
out one proposal of the Commission. This could not be dealt with indepen- 
dently of the others. He readily admitted that the Finance Department 
deserved well of India for the past four years. 

Sir Alexander MUDDIMAN explained at this earliest opportunity the 
Government view on the motion of Mr. Rangachariar, though he had felt a 
little doubt for the necessity of the motion after finding that Mr. Ranga- 
chariar had already studied it with considerable skill. The Finance 
Member had already stated that it was their imperative duty to bring 
the measure before the House. The Government have no wish certainly 
to throw this report down the unwilling throat of the House. They do 
not desire that the members should be deprived of the opportunity of 
discussing a document which the Finance Member had rightly described 
as epoch-making and which will undoubtedly have the greatest influence on 
the future finance of the country. " I will say openly that if there is a general 
desire in the House for supporting the motion of Mr. Kangachariar, the 
Government will not oppose it but will support it," 

Sir P. S. Sivaswami AIYAR, in supporting the motion for postpone- 
ment, hoped that the Government would reconsider their position and when 
they came next before the fouse there woulcj be a declaration that whoever 


wanted gold any time he would get it. The motion of Mr. Rmgaohariar 
for eliciting opinion was put and carried without any 'dissentient voice. After 
this the Swarajists walked out of the Chamber in a body. 

Government Bills. 

On the motion of Sir B. N. Mitra, the Factories Act Amendment Bill 
was allowed to be circulated for opinion. The House then passed the 
Usurious Loans Act of 1923 Amendment Bill and the Negotiable Instru- 
ments Act of 1881 Amendment Bill. The Assembly then adjourned. 

Retention of Rameswaram Station. 

Next day, the 24TH AUGUST, was the day for non-official resolutionss. 
Mr, Rama IYENGER was ironically cheered by some members on official 
benches when he rose to move his resolution recommending to the Govern- 
ment that the Railway Board and the South Indian Railway be directed 
to retain the present Rameswaram station as such even if new alignment 
is adopted and that protective embankments be put up south of the line to 
ensure safety to the line. Mr. Rama lyengar hoped to make the Govern- 
ment realise the importance of his resolution. He said when he visited 
Rameswaram he wrote to the South Indian Railway making certain en- 
quiries but got a curt reply from the Railway Company. He was afraid 
that the Railway Board did not possess adequate information on the 
subject. About 20 lakhs of pilgrim visited Rameswaram annually and propor- 
tionate expenditure for Rameswaram station should be 12 to 15 lakhs. 

Mr. Rama lyengar, continuing, said that the matter was important 
and the Government should take full responsibility for it by accepting his 
resolution and should not force the House into a division. He also sug- 
gested that if the retention of the present station proved absolutely impossible, 
the Government should make a metalled road and maintain it up to as near 
the point of pilgrimage as possible. 

Sir Charles INNES did not underrate the importance of the question. 
He asked the House to take Mr. Rama lyengar's figures cautiously because 
the line, far from being profitable, waa hardly paying. To understand the 
problem required local knowledge. The Railway Board would not do 
anything to make it more difficult for pilgrims to proceed to Rameswaram, 
but they had difficulties provided by nature. The south-west monsoon threw 
sands every year and the sand line was rapidly advancing at the rate of 
thirty yards a year. Sir Clement Hindley, himself an eminent engineer, 
personally visited the station and discussed the position with the South Indian 
Railway engineer. The Railway Board's Chief Engineer also discussed the 
position but every time they found no other alternative to save the line 
except to divert it. The new station would make pilgrims travel a distance 
of 3} miles. As regards Mr. Rama lyengar's suggestion for the construction 
of a road, this raised a constitutional issue. Central revenues could be spent 
for the construction of military roads only. Road construction was the 
function of local bodies and the Railway Board cjuld not establish a danger- 
ous principle. He assured the House that the Railway Board would not 
think of tearing up of the existing line unless there were compelling reasons. 
He would again look into the matter and see what could be done by way 
of providing convenience for pilgrims. 

The resolution was then put to vote and rejected by a narrow majority 
of one, voting being 32 for and 33 against. 


The Andaman! Scheme. 

Mr. Syed MtTRTtTZA then moved that Government should abandan the 
Andamans as a penal settlement by sending back all Moplahs and other 
prisoners and also to throw it open for free colonisation removing all restric- 
tions on communications in settlements etc,, and also giving all necessary 
facilities to the settlers* , 

Syed Murtuza dwelt at length on the deplorable condition of the 
Andaman islands which was situated far away from the principal ports of 
India. He characterised it as a living grave. At the instance of the Home 
Department, a deputation of which he was a member visited the islands last 
yaar to report on the conditions prevailing there. Their report which was 
still under the consideration of the Government of India contained some in- 
teresting facts and figures which he said, if known to the house, would have 
convinced it of the desirability of his present demand. He reminded the 
Home Member of his promise in the Assembly in 1924 to throw open the 
island for colonisation by the general public and trusted that he would ad- 
here to his promise. He appealed to all members to support the resolution 
which he said was of all India importance and hoped that the Government 
members would remain neutral. 

Mr. Schamnad made an impassioned appeal for the thousands of His 
Majesty's subjects living in this hell. He pictured a poor meek Moplah in 
the middle of a swampy jungle surrounded by fever and always open to the 
attacks of wild men. 

Sir Alexander Muddiman, explai ned that the Government had already 
laid down the policy of abandonment of the Andamans as a penal settlement) 
but the process must be slow. There were local free born persons who had 
settled down and were living in comfort despite the wild men. Numbers of 
those under sentence far preferred to serve their term in a place where they 
could be self-supporting and in the open air, than in a central jail in India. 
The prevalent idea that the Andamans were inhabited by savages and hence 
impossible to live in was ridiculous. The climate was damp, but the scenery 
was beautiful, and were an hotel built there, Sir Alexander prophesied that 
persons from Calcutta and Bombay would visit the islands and turn them 
into a pleasure resort. The country was rich in so far as cocoanut, tea and 
rubber could be given, and there was no reason to shed crocodile tears for 
those poor ill-treated criminals. They were far happier there than if con- 
fined in India. 

Communal Disputes. 

Mr. Mahomed TfAKUB next moved: "This Assembly recommends to the 
Governor-General-in- Council that legislation be immediately taken in hand in 
order to regulate the performance of religious festivals, rites and ceremonies 
of different communities in India." 

In moving the resolution Moulvi Mahomed Yakub made it clear at 
the ousett, that he had no desire to import communal feeling in the 
House. Nor did he wish to enumerate the wrongs of one community or 
another. It was a pity that Mr. B. C. Pal should, at a time when 
the atmosphere was saturated with communal feelings, be writing to the 
press in the way he was doing. He did not agree with those who said 
the Government had a hand in fomenting communal riots and communal 


feeling or that they had ever shown any partiality to any community 
in communal matters. In this connection, he entered a strong protest 
against Lord Olivier's statement in the House of Lords. It was sur- 
prising that the ex-Secretary of State should be so ignorant of the methods 
of administration in India. Of course, it would have been better if leaders 
of the communities had themselves decided the communal question effectively , 
but past experience had shown that the communal leaders had hopelessly 
failed. The Unity Conference passed certain resolutions, but there was no 
sanction behind them. If the principles laid down in those resolutions had 
been placed on the statute book, communal feeling would not have been so 
acute as it was to-day. No doubt there were certain sections in the Penal 
Code and Cr. P. C., but they wore only for the preservation of peace. The 
different orders of different provincial Governments had made the position 
still more difficult. He would have brought forward a bill if he thought 
there was any chance of introducing and carrying it through, but there was 
no chance for non-official bills in this House. Hence his resolution for official 
legislation. In conclusion he indicated his support of Mr, Rangachariar's 
amendment for a conference. 

Mr, Kangachariar's Amendment. 

Mr. Eangachariar moved the following resolution to be substituted for 
the original one : "This Assembly recommends to the Governor-General-in- 
Council that he may be pleased to convene an all India conference of selected 
leaders of public opinion and experienced officials to examine the present 
communal situation in the country and make recommendations to regulate 
the performance of religious festivals and rites and ceremonies of different 
communities in India ". He said his amendment had to be restricted to the 
scope of the original resolution. Otherwise he would have widened it. He 
did not believe in the hush-hush policy adopted by certain persons. Facts 
must be faced if they were anxious to attain Swaraj and still more to retain 
it. He had begun to believe that it would be easier to attain Swaraj but not 
as easier to maintain it. He particularly noted with regret that on an 
occasion like this when the Swarajist benches were empty, it would serve no 
useful purpose to elaborate on the causes of communal disputes. He hoped 
no member would dwell on them. 

The speaker felt bitterly the soreness of the disgraceful position with 
which they were faced. Honest and earnest attempts have been made by 
the communities to come to a settlement ; but these had failed. What was 
required was the driving force which the Government alone could bring to 
the movement. The Unity Conference failed and success could not be 
achieved without co-operation of officials and non-officials alike. Mr. Ranga- 
chariar did not want to insist that the constitution of a Conference must 
provide for a majority of non-offlcials. He did not mind the personnel so 
long as those who took part in it were really bent on changing the situation. 
The Conference should be private and not open to the press. The Viceroy 
should open it by a speech which he alone could make. The Conference 
would fully examine the causes of outbreaks and try to bring about amity. 
He wanted to sit in the Conference not moderate Hindus and Muslims, but 
staunch Hindus and Moslems. Both parties were to blame. The Viceroy's 
speech and the Home Member's statement showed that the Government re- 
cognized the seriousness of the situation but mere recognition of it and ao 
aaauranoe regarding maintaining peace did not carry them very far. The 


Government's duty was to take definite action instead of edicts from hill 
tops. The country wanted serious and earnest action and they should put 
their heads together to find a solution. 

When Mr. Kangaohariar resumed his seat, the House was adjourned and 
the debate was continued on the next non-official day, the 1st September. 

Next day, the 25TH AUGUST, the Assembly re-assembled to consider 
the official bills. 

Security for Costs in Second Appeals. 

Sir Alexander Muddiman moved for consideration of his bill which is 
based on the Rankin report and gives effect to the proposal for security for 
costs in certain second appeals. The Home Member said that the Bill was im- 
protant though not of immediate urgency. If there was a general desire in the 
House for the circulation of the Bill he would not oppose it. Authorities 
concerned were undoubtedly consulted about the general principle underly- 
ing the Bill but not on the exact procedure now proposed in the Bill. On 
Sir H. S. Gour moving for the circulation of the Bill, it was put to vote and 
agreed to. 

Provincial Insolvency Act Amendment. 

The Home Member next moved and the House agreed to take into 
consideration the Bill amending the Provincial Insolvency Act introduced 
on the 18th instant. The Bill is based on the Rankin Committee's re- 
commendations which laid down that a notice be issued under Section 33 
to the receiver instead of to the insolvent. Dr. Gour's amendment that such 
notice be issued both to the receiver and to the insolvent, was rejected 
and the Bill was passed without alteration. 

Indian Succession Act Amendment. 

The Bill amending the Indian Succession Act introduced on the 1 8th 
was next taken up. Sir Alexander Muddiman said that this Bill too was 
based on the Civil Justice Committee's recommendation and proposed to 
the Hindus in general provisions of the law already applicable in parts of 
the country. The Bill was passed with some dissentient voices. 

Cr. P. C, Amendment Bill. 

Forfeiture of Communal Leaflets. ' 

Sir Alexander MUDDIMAN next moved the consideration of the important Bill to 
amend the Criminal Procedure Code to bring all documents which offend against 153-A, 
I. P. C., by promoting communal hatred within the scope of the power of forfeiture con- 
ferred in respect of seditious documents by Section 99-A of Cr. P. C. Sir Alexander 
Muddiman declared that the measure was reasonable and would, be hoped, command the 
sympathy and support of the House. He maintained that the communal situation had 
grown to a pitch, that, but for the official precautions, these would have multiplied a 
hundred times compared with the long list of riots he recently placed on the table. He 
paid a tribute to civil and military officers, both British and Indians, who had been 
handling the difficult situation throughout the hot weather. He was most anxious that 
the House should show that it was as a body on the side of law and order in endeavouring 
to prevent terrible happenings. He did not claim that the measure would strike at the 
root of the trouble, but if it in any way strengthened the bands of the Government and 
of those good-thinking citizens who represent a large majority of the two communities to 
deal with the difficult matter, he should have the support of the House. 

The Bill would Dot be very effective in dealing with newspapers, for it would have 
already reached its ordinary subscribers before the mischievous nature of the writing 
was discovered* The Bill would, however, be netful in the case of inflammatory pamphlets, 

. '26J CR. P. C. AMENDMENT BILL al^ 

The Home Member bad with him an extract regarding sixteen successful press prosecu- 
tions in Bengal, but the results of these prosecutions were very largely vitiated by the 
fact that there was no power to check the circulation of inflammatory matter. In his 
judgment, the accumulation of pamphlets of this eort was dangerous. The measure was 
immediately needed and he hoped the House would not accept dilatory motions which 
had been put on paper. The Bill should be discussed here and now. He finally appealed 
to the House to collaborate with the Government to show that they were willing to give 
full support to the Government and to those in charge of the difficult task of maintaining 
order in these troublesome times. 

Mr. Mahomed YAKUB liked the Bill from the bottom of his heart. It was his firm 
conviction that the press had played a gieat part in creating the present situation. This 
was done by publishing objectionable matter in communal papers. He did nor. think 
the executive had sufficient powers to stop sowing by the press of the seeds of communal 
bitterness. Their powers must be enhanced. As regards the Anglo-Indian press, he 
emphasised that it should not be exempted from the provisions of the proposed Bill. 
Referring to the remarks of the previous speaker, Mr. Yakub said that is was tor the 
sake of stopping objectionable matter in the Anglo-Indian press and elsewhere that such 
a Bill was most essential. 

[At this stage Lala Lajpat Bai entered the Chamber and was cheered by official 
benches. He took his seat in one of the back benches in the Independents' block. He 
had resigned the membership of the Swaraj Party and attended on this day to take part in 
the debate on the Bill relating to Newspapers and on Bar Councils Bill whose extension 
to Lahore High Court he intended to advocate]. 

Sir H. S. GOUR moved for the circulation of the Bill. He held that Government was 
taking undue advantage of the present passing phase of communal tension which was 
subsiding, if not dead, to re-enact a provision of the Press Act of 1910 which the last 
Assembly repealed. The Bill waa dangerous to the liberty of the press and the public. 
It was liable to abuse by local authority and they had the recent example of such abuse of 
power in the Bengal Government's action regarding Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Tho 
Government was taking advantage of the attenuated state of the membership of the House. 
They were winding up the session. Was it fair to the members of the Assembly to load them 
heavily, at such a time, by asking them to assent to a measure which would not be liked by 
the public ? He recalled that the President himself had, when the Swarajists were with- 
drawing from the last session, warned the Government against bringing forward contentions 
measures. He did not appeal to the chair but to the good sense of the Home Member 
who had plenty of it not to rush it. It would not make considerable difference if the 
measure was delayed for four months. 

Home member : It may not make considerable difference to the Home Member, but 
it will make considerable difference to the member from Nagpur. (Laughter.) 

Concluding, Dr. Gour added that the interests concerned had not been consulted, nor 
had local Governments' opinions been made available to the member. 

Mr. K. C. ROY, being the journalist member of the House, was applauded when 
he rose to move his motion for referring the Bill to a Select Committee consisting 
of the Home Member, Mr. Graham, Mr. Jinnah, Lala Lajpat Bai, Mr. Neogy, Mr. 
Dumasia, Colonel Crawford and the mover. Mr. Boy said he had received a commission 
from all members to include their names but had received only provisional commission 
from Lala Lajpat Rai. He was glad to welcome him to the House, for Lalaji was a 
doyen of the speaker's profession and an expresssion of views coming from him would 
carry great weight. 

Mr. Roy made it clear that he entirely accepted the principle underlying the Bill 
and in this, he had the support of a most influential paper, The Leader of Allahabad. 
He did not deny that an unparalleled situation existed, that objectionable writings were 
in circulation and that the Government had a right to demand some powers from the 
legislature. He, however, maintained that the House had a right to demand careful 
examination of the Bill by the Select Committee which need not take more that two 
hours to conclude its work. Members were fully sensible of the exceptional emergency 
in the country, but he for one wanted the Select Committee to examine whether the powers 
now asked for should not be limited to two years and whether confiscation should not 
take place after the verdict of a competent judicial court. 

Finally, Mr. Roy complained that the Government had singled ont the press in the 
matter. The Central Government had overlooked the failure of local Governments to 
take proper precautioni. It had left the ring-leaders alone and had only singled ont the 
pxeu for pillory, 


Lala Lajpat RAl said that the Bill was a very serious encroachment on the liberties 
of the press. There were three issues, firstly whether confiscation should take place 
after the judicial verdict ; secondly, whether it should take place also while prosecution 
is on ; and thirdly, whether summary powers be given to local Governments to determine 
what came within the purview of Section 99-A. He assured co-opr ration in finding a 
suitable remedy, but maintained that the present bill was insidious. Section 158- A was 
not necessarily confined to communal writings, but might as well be applied to contro- 
versy between capital and labour. Moreover, he did not know of a single case where 
the legislature sanctioned measures to strengthen th? hands of Governments which were 
not abused and were not kept longer than needed. (Hear, hear.) He admitted that news- 
papers very largely were responsible for the present communal trouble, but the present 
Bill was no remedy and not even a part remedy. " No legislation. I declare, will 
deliberately cure communal trouble so long as the leaders of the two communities do not 
sincerely try to bring about peace. 1 ' 

Continuing, the speaker held that a good part of the trouble was attributed to the 
Hindu Police or the Muslim Police. If this was true?, then this Bill by putting additional 
powers into the hands of the Police would only make the situation worse. Moreover, 
what right had the Government so quietly to come and ask the legislature to reinsert 
the very provisions which the legislature deliberately annulled by repealing the Press Act 
" I appeal to the Government : Don't hit below the belt. Think of the permanent 
injury you will be doing to the liberty of the people and of the press ". 

Mr. BANGACHAKIAR suppoited the motion for a Select Committee. The principle 
underlying the Bill was that prevention was better than cure. There was no doubt that 
pamphlets and such other publications were some of the causes of communal bitterness. 
This was admitted by Lala Lajpat Bai, but the question was whether the Executive 
should have the power proposed under this Bill. The existing lav; did not give them 
the necessary powers for prevention but they all had an instinctive dislike of the Executive. 
This was based on their past experience, because such powers had been abused in a 
number of cases. But the Bill contained language which was vague and defective and 
must therefore be substantially modified. The shortness of the session need not deter 
them from supporting the motion for the Committee. 

Mr. Neogy complained that the Home Member had not fulfilled his promise of giving 
the House the views of the local Governments on the proposals embodied in the Bill. 

The Home Member : I thought it would not be right to add to the communal 
tension by reading them, but if the Hon'ble Member wants them, I shall read. 

Mr. Neogy replied that if they could not be read in the interest of communal amity, 
that was all the greater reason why a Select Committee should sit and examine those views. 
Mr. Neogy was convinced that the Calcutta riots were to a large measure due to injudi- 
cious writing in the press ; but when the riots broke out, the Bengal Government was 
nowhere near Calcutta and its head was breathing the cool hill atmosphere. 

Sir Alexander Muddiman : How is this relevant 1 

Mr. Neogy : I know the Home Member feels uncomfortable at these statements. 

Home Member : Nothing of the kind. I only hold that it is not relevant to the Bill. 

The President called Mr, Neogy to order. Mr. Neogy declared that his contention 
was that the Bengal Government knew that such writings in the prcbs were being indulged 
in .and yet although it had power to take prompt action against such writings it did not 
act That showed that if the local Government could not use even its existing powers it 
was no use arming it with additional powers. The speaker did not want to blame anybody. 

The Home Member : Except the Government. (Laughter). 

Mr. Neogy admitted the existence of the evil, but the Bill would have to be fully 

Sir P. S. Sivaswami AIYEB said he had no objection to pious conferences of leaders 
to bring about reconciliation. At the same time he welcomed the pnnciple of the Bill 
but felt that the Government bad not made adequate we of the existing powers. Though 
the Bill left the decision to the local authorities, the provision of reference to a High 
Court against such decision was a proper safeguard. However, he agreed that the pro- 
visions of the Bill were wide and supported Mr. K. C. Roy'b motion for a Select Committee. 

Pandit MALAVIYA said the criticism that the Home Member wanted to rush the Bill 
through a thin house was not relevant. The Home Member had been prompted by a 
sincere desire to seek one more means, of meeting the situation which the leaders had miser- 
ably failed to handle. The reason for this failure of the leaders was that the leaders of 
either community did not courageously condemn their co-religionists publicly whenever 
they committed excess. It was true the Government officers too failed in taking prompt 

5 AUO. '26] CR. P. C. AMENDMENT BILL *i j 

and impartial action though a great balk of the officers did their duty honourably. Bat 
mention of this also was not relevant nor were the statements that communal electorates 
were the main cause of the riots relevant. He personally did not subscribe to this view 
and felt that a solution was the maintenance of law and order in a simple style that this 
Government had done for a long time. 

The question before the House was whether pamphlets of an inflammatory character 
were published. The speaker admitted that these were published by both sides. Indeed, 
he found that the continuance of the Calcutta riots was in no small measure due to the 
circulation of such pamphlets. The necessity for stopping this circulation therefore existed. 
The local Governments unfortunately went wrong on occasions, but they must trust 
the same authority and he found that the discretion vested in local Governments and the 
obligation to state their reasons for forfeiting a document and the power of appeal to a 
High Court were proper safeguards against the abuse of power. Nevertheless, there was 
need for greater caution and there was time enough to refer the Bill to a Select Committee. 
He did not want to provoke the Home Member to read the local Governments 1 opinion ; 
but these should be placed before the Committee. They had at the same time to keep in 
view a series of blunders committed by local Governments since 1921 in disregarding 
the provisions of the law, especially in the application of Section 144, in the Punjab. 
United Provinces and Bengal, Apprehensions expressed in the House about the abuse 
of the new law were not therefore groundless. Moreover, the power given to a Police 
Sub-Inspector to starch any premises where copies of a prescribed pamphlet "may be or 
may reasonably be suspected to be' 1 might, in the present state of communal tension make 
such Police officers search the places on communal considerations. This would therefore 
work a great deal of hardship. 

Pandit Malaviya also felt that responsible officers were sometimes in their zeal a little 
too meddlesome to prevent abuse. He threw out a suggestion that an advisory board of 
three persons be constituted to advise local Governments in the matter of forfeiture of 
inflammatory writing. The Select Committee might or might not materially alter the 
bill, but, after it had examined it, they would vote on it with clearer minds. 

Mr. JINNAH supported the motion for a Select Committee, butjhe was anxious that 
the operation of the Bill must be limited to a number of years. He was not sure that 
communal bitterness would continue for an indefinite length of time. Where was the 
need of placing permanently on the statute book a bill which gave extraordinary powers 
to the Executive ? The language of the bill was much too wide and he was afraid that 
no High Court would consider a revision application put in by an aggrieved party against 
the order of a local Government and give a decision different from the views of the, local 
Government. He appealed to Sir Alexander Muddiman not to be intoxicated with the 
power of the majority on his side and press the issue but accept the motion for a Select 

Sir Alexander MUDDIMAN regretted that he could not agree to a Select Committee 
although that move came from quarters which commanded the attention of the Government. 
He did not see what the Committee could discuss. The principle of the bill was accepted, 
namely that there must be power to the Executive to seize documents which were likely 
to excite communal hatred. There was a defect in the law which must be removed in the 
interests of communal concord. 

As for the limitation of the period of operation of the bill, Sir Alexander emphasised 
that the bill would not be a temporary measure, but a permanent one on the statute book 
in order always to provide the Government witn the necessary powers in dealing with 
communal excitements whenever they arose. No one in this house could say that the 
communal situation would immediately or in the near future improve. There was always 
the danger which they must guard against. Much had been said that the bill was wide 
and vague 1 It did nothing more than incorporate Section 153 of Penal Code. Therefore, 
there is nothing to justify reference to a Select Committee. 

The Bengal Government in the course of their replies had pointed out that the existing 
law was defective and failed in achieving the object. The Punjab Government had quoted 
an inpfance of prosecution under Section 153 under which proc'edings in Court against 
a communal leader had a worse; rffrct in striking up communal feeling than the object 
of the piosecutiv>n. If, therefore, the bill wns to br watered down in a Select Committee, 
there was nothing left in it. He appealed to the Assembly not because he had any 
majority to support the motion for consideration. He had no desire to appear unreason- 
able, but he earnestly appealed to the Houae to be unanimous and support the Govern- 
ment. If the members wanted to make any suggestion to improve the bill they could 
do so on the floor of the House, 


After Sir Alexander's speech the motion for a select committee was put 
and lost by 25 against 50 votes. The motion for consideration was then 
passed without a division. The House then adjourned till the next day, the 
26TH AUGUST, when after consideration of the bill clause by clause it was 
passed. The motion of Mr. Rangachariar for limiting operation of the Bill to 
two years was lost by 1 9 against 48 votes. No non-official cautioned the 
Government against misuse of the power given. 

The Bar Councils Bill. 

The Bar Councils Bill as it emerged from the Select Committee next 
came up for consideration. Sir Alexander Muddiman, in explaining the 
provisions of the Bill, pointed out the important changes made by the Select 
Committtee and emphasised that there had not been any departure from the 
original Bill except in cases of sections dealing with seniority and right of 

Motion for Re-circulation. 

Dr. Gour moved that the Bill be re-c ; rculated for eliciting further 
opinions thereon, He said there was a large class of barristers and advocates* 
both European and Indian whose rights were directly affected by the changes 
made in section 8. The change constituted a departure completely altering 
the scope and scheme of the Bill. Under the change proposed if a barrister 
of 20 or even 30 years' standing wishes to practise in a High Court and gets 
himself enrolled, his seniority would be counted from the date of his enrol- 
ment and not from the date he was called to the bar. It, therefore, established 
an artificial rule of seniority which was a departure from English practice. 
Frankly speaking, he was anxious that the English Bar should preserve its 
individuality. There were no less than seven members of the Select Com- 
mittee who had appended their minutes of dissent (Mr. Rangachariar : 
Only on minor points), and there were 28 amendments to the Bill. If the 
vakil members in this House wanted to assassinate the class of barristers and 
deprive them of their rights and privileges which they enjoyed for several 
decades, then it was only due to them that they must be given a hearing. 

Sir Alexander Muddiman asked the Assembly to realise that if the bill 
was not passed now, then the Government would have to reintroduoe a bill 
in the new Assembly. The bill embodied moderate opinion. The objection 
was only in regard to clauses dealing with seniority and right of preaudience, 
regarding which the opinion of the Bombay and Calcutta High Courts 
would be welcome. At the same time he did not want the fruits of so many 
years' labours to be wasted. He, therefore, was prepared to delete the 
two new clauses for reference and bring in an amended bill whenever 
possible and now allow the bill to be passed with the exception of those 
two clauses. This was a graceful concession which would tend to reconcile 
the contending parties. 

Dr. Gour's motion for recirculation was lost. 

Amendments to the Bill. 

The bill was then considered clause by clause. Mr. K. C. Neogy 
moved for deletion from Clause 3 relating to the composition of Bar Councils 
that portion which stated that not less than one half of the persons who 
would constitute the elected portion of the Calcutta and Bombay Bar Coun- 
cils should be barristers of England or members of the Faculty of Advocates 


in Scotland. His object; was that the proportion should be the same at 
would be in the case of Councils of other High Courts. 

Sir Alexander Muddiman opposed Mr. Neogy'a amendment which was 

Sir P. S. Sivaswami Aiyar then moved that the proportion of elected 
members to barristers should be such as might be fixed by the High Courts 
(of Bombay or Calcutta). Sir Alexander Muddiman accepted the amend- 
ment which was carried. 

Mr. Kabiruddin Ahmed moved that barristers to be elected on the 
Calcutta and Bombay Bar Councils should be elected by barristers them- 
selves. Sir Alexander Muddiman opposed this amendment which he thought 
attempted to introduce as it were communal representation. The amend- 
ment was lost. 

Enrolment of Advocates. 

When Clause 8 relating to the enrolment of advocates came up, Sir 
Hari Singh formally moved for deletion of sub-clauses three and four which 
ran as follows : (3) Entries in the roll shall be made in the order of seniori- 
ty and seniority of each advocate shall be determined by the date of hia 
admission to be an advocate or in the case of a person referred to in 
Clause (a) of sub-section 2 by the date of his admission to be advocate, 
vakil, or pleader as the case may be of the High Court. (4) Subject to any 
special orders which the High Court may think fit to make in individual 
cases, the respective rights of preaudience of advocates of the High Court 
shall be determined by seniority, provided that the advocate shall have 
preaudience over all other advocates and King's Counsel shall have pre- 
audience over all advocates except the Advocate-General. He moved for 
deletion of these two sub-clauses in accordance with the suggestion of the 
Home Member so that they might be circulated for opinion and an amending 
bill brought forward if the opinion was favourable. 

Sir Alexander Muddiman promised to circulate the sub-clauses. The 
deletion was agreed to. 

Admission of Advocates to Bar Councils. 

Mr. Neogy then moved an amendment to the clause relating to rules for 
the admission of advocates to Bar Councils. The object of the amendment 
was to delete sub-clause four which stated that nothing in the rules to be 
framed bv the Calcutta or Bombay Bar Councils should affect the powers of 
the two High Courts to prescribe qualification of persons who practise on 
the Original Side. Mr. Neogy objected to legislative restrictions being 
imposed in the case of Calcutta or Bombay Bar Councils. 

The Hon. Mr. Das, Law Member, opposed the amendment of Mr. 
Neogy on behalf of the Government. The amendment was lost. 

Thereupon Mr. Rangachariar, by an nmendment, sought to restrict the 
period of time by the 1st January 1935 within which the powers of the 
High Courts of Calcutta and Bombay should not be limited regarding 
prescription of qualifications for persons practising on the Original Sid*. 
Sir Alexander Muddiman promised to consider this question after the Bill 
was passed. The amendment was then withdrawn. 

Mr. Kabiruddin Ahmed moved an amendment that vakils, pleaders, 
advocates and barristers must wear their respective prescribed robes. Mr. 
Ahmed caused considerable amusement on the adoption of barrister's robeg 


by some vakils who are not entitled to them. The President was at one 
stage constrained to ask Mr. Ahmed to be dignified in his language. The 
amendment was lost, 

Other clauses were passed without amendment. The Bill as amended, 
that is* with the deletion of two sub-clauses relating to seniority and rights 
of preaudience was then about to be passed. Sir Alexander Muddiman 
suggested that if some members wanted to speak on the next day on the Bill 
as amended, he would not then move that the Bill be passed. 

Accordingly, the House adjourned to meet again on the next day, the 
27TH AUGUST, when the third reading of the Bill was resumed. The first 
attack was launched by Mr. K. Ahmed. His grievance was that the proposed 
legislation would lower the standard of the Bar. He strongly objected to the 
admittance of advocates to the High Court Bar unless they had qualified in 
England as barristers and had been " called " at Home. Sir Hari Singh Qour 
was extremely sorry that the Bill was to be passed, for he wished to have 
time to compare with the rules of the English Bar Council. Mr. Neopy was 
bitingly sarcastic and suggested that if Mr. Ahmed's recent speech evidenced 
the advantages derivable from education in Europe the Indian Bar would 
benefit from the inclusion of lawyers educated in India. The Vakils' Asso- 
ciation, which he told the House he represented, opposed the clause, ruling 
that the majority of members of the Bar Council should be barristers. He 
characterised this as a rule of the minority over the majority. Pandit 
Madan Mohan Malaviya criticised the utterances of barrister members of 
the Assembly, which, he suggested, comprised the strongest possible argu- 
ment to show the necessity of admitting advocates. Sir Alexander Muddi- 
man emphasised that the Bill was an attempt in the direction of the creation 
of a united Indian Bar. The Bill as amended was ultimately carried. 


The other business was the consideration of a Bill to amend Section 33 of 
the Indian Succession Act. The mover Sir Walter Wilson explained that the 
object of this Bill was to ensure that when an estate was of less value than 
Es. 5,000 and the deceased died intestate without lineal descendants, then the 
widow should have the whole of the money. When the amount was larger the 
widow should have the first Rs. 5,000 without prejudice to her right to 
share the residue later. The measure does not concern Indian Christians or 
persons professing Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or the Jain religion. Dr. DATTA 
emphasised that Indian Christians often marry Anglo-Indians and a question 
would arise concerning the children by such marriages. His amendment 
that the Bill should not apply to the child or grandchild of any male person 
who is excluded from the measure was carried and the Bill was passed. 
The House then adjourned. 

Official Bills and Supplementary Grants. 

The next meeting of the Assembly took place on the 31 ST AUGUST 
when Sir Basil Blackett placed on the table the report of the Public 
Accounts Committee for the year 1924-25. The House then passed without 
much discussion si? bills as passed by the Council of State amending the 


Evidence Act, the Administrator-Generals Act, the Companies Act, the 
Cantonments Aot and the Indian Limitation Act and the Sind Court 
Supplementary Bill. The House next agreed to voting supplementary grants 
of Es. 2,00,000 for ports and pilotage, Es. 1,43,000 in respect of aviation, 
Rs. 2,41,000 under miscellaneous, Rs, 13,000 in respect of refunds and 
Rs. 5 lakhs for loans and advances bearing interest. 

The main discussion of the day however centred round the proposal 
to advance Rs. 5 lakhs on interest to the Imperial Gymkhana of Delhi 
which sum the standing Finance Committee had agreed to. After some 
discussion the grant was agreed to. The House then adjourned. 

Communal Disputes. 

Next day, the 1ST SEPTEMBER, the debate on the solution of commu- 
nal trouble was resumed in the Assembly and discussed for nearly six hours 
and resulted in nothing more than eliciting an assurance from the Government 
that they would consider carefully any practical suggestions from the- public. 
The debate itself was kept on a high level except for slight aberrations on the 
part of the communally disposed individuals. There was a small section 
headed by Lala Lajpat Rai, who feared a possibility of the debate taking an 
acrimonious turn. He therefore suggested a postponement of it sine die, but 
Sir Alexander Muddiman's opposition to it on the ground that the Govern- 
ment could not pass two speeches already made to stand on the paper without 
official reply thereto, determined the issue. 

Lala Lajpat Rai's motion being defeated, the debate was resumed in 
full vigour in which fourteen members representing various shades of 
opinion participated. The start was made by Mr. Kabiruddin Ahmed who 
opposed an All-India Conference to find a solution of the problem and 
incidentally pressed the claims of his community for greater representation 
in legislatures and in public services. 

In refreshing contrast was the speech of Dr. Datta who raised the tone 
of the debate to a moral pitch. He was heard with the greatest attention 
when he analysed the causes of the present troubles to practical and economic 
rather than religious and asked the Government to reassert its moral leader* 
ship from which it had dethroned itself. Personally he feared that there 
was not among the people the will to unite and so feared that no useful 
result would ensue from the deliberations of the proposed conference. 

Swarajists Twitted. 

Sir Denys Bray took the first opportunity of the Swarajists' absence 
to twit their running away from the post of duty on such an important 
debate. The contribution of Sir Denys Bray to the discussion was that cure 
must come from within, that is, people must solve the problem themselves, 
for Government could only handle the vissible symptoms. Mr. Dumasia 
wanted the communal leaders to unite and present their suggestions for accep- 
tance by the Government. The position of the Government was explained 
clearly by Sir Alexander Muddiman. He was decidedly against Moulvi Maho- 
med Yakub's suggestion for a legislation on communal questions as well as Mr. 
Rangachariar's plea for an All-India conference to which Mahomed Yakub 
himself had lent his support. The Home Member defended that both admi- 
nistratively and morally the Govt. bad done their best and would continue to 
do their beit, The Govt he affirmed, were ready to bring about reconciliation. 


and at the same time maintain law and order but the difficulty was that 
local disputes were taking All-India colour now a days and efforts of local 
officials to settle disputes in consultation with local leaders were frustrated 
by mischief-monging outsiders who had their own axe to grind. From 
the non-official European side, three members spoke. Colonel Crawford 
hinting that the Government of India had not been as firm as it should have 
been ; Mr. Sheepshanks of Bombay suggesting to the communal leaders to 
follow the golden maxim of Gladstone : " Never impute motive as the sure 
road to success " and Dr. Macphail of Madras asking Indians to learn to 
respect other's wishes and sentiments in the midst of such varying opinions 
and in face of the Government's decided stand against the conference idea. 

Mr. K. C. Roy charged the Government with being solely respon- 
sible for the solution of communal difficulties and the obligations that 
rested on them by statute to help India to reach self-Government. This 
could not be done, he argued, by the Government shirking their responsibility 
in the matter of solving communal menace and laying it solely on the shoulders 
of political and communal leaders. To this view Sir Hari Singh was opposed, 
for unless politics was divorced from religion as was done iu western countries, 
the situation would continue to puzzle them. But Sir Hari Singh Gour 
and Lala Lajpat Rai expressed their conviction that the sure remedy to the 
present trouble was in the grant of responsible Government and the former 
went to the extent of asking the Government to appoint a Royal Commission 
on the reforms at once so that it would examine not only the political situ- 
ation but also this communal situation which was an allied subject. 

Pandit Malaviya with his characteristically, persuasive eloquence sup- 
ported the Government standpoint that there must be no conference but 
that leaders and every citizen should endeavour to do their best to promote 
a spirit of toleration and good-will in their respective localities. Pandit 
Malaviya's " wise and sane suggestions " as the Home Member described 
them, enabled the Government through their spokesmen to induce the 
authors of different propositions to withdraw them. This was done, Sir 
Alexander Muddiman assuring that the door for a conference was not closed 
but would be open whenever a favourable atmosphere prevailed that would 
yield tangible results. 


The only achievement to the credit of the Assembly on this day was the 
passing of a resolution for the removal of sex disqualification in elections to the 
assembly. The Government position was explained by Mr. Haig, who 
announced that the Government would frame regulations to have effect before 
the general election was held. Speeches were made in support of the re- 
moval of sex disqualification by orthodox and conservative members of the 
house, the only discordant note being struck by Moul. Mahomed Yakub. 
The House then adjourned. 


The last sitting of the second Assembly, prior to its dissolution, was 
held on the 2ND SEPTEMBER when eloquent tributes of admiration were 
paid from all sides of the House to the President, Mr. Patel. Dewan 
Bahadur Rangachariar, as Mr. Patel's deputy, led the way. He had 
fought bard lait session for thii unique honour but lost it by two votei, 


because "chance and luck) 11 he said, favoured hia rival. He compli- 
mented Mr. Patel and this brought Sir Sivaswamy Aiyar on to his feet 
and he paid his excellent phrased tribute of admiration for the striking ability 
with which Mr. Patel had conducted the work of the chair. He desired that 
following the British convention, Mr. Patel be returned unooritested and that he 
be once again elevated to the same chair from where he has ruled with dignity 
and impartiality. Sir Walter Wilson paid an equally sincere tribute and assured 
that European non-official group would vote for Mr. Patel next time. Mr. 
Venkatapatiraju, in the absence of Mr. Jinnah, extended a similar assurance 
of support on behalf of the Independents. Nawab Sir Abdul Qaiyum, leader 
of the Muslim Parliamentary group which he frankly confessed had acted 
in the House more out of order than in order, declared that on the question, 
his group, was unanimous. The Muslims were fully struck with the ability, 
distinction, tact and impartiality with which Mr. Patel had done his work, 
He particularly noted how Mr. Patel's eye always caught the most appropriate 
speaker. He indeed stated unhesitatingly that no other non-official member, 
to his mind, would have done as well as Mr. Patel had done. Mr. Baptista, 
on behalf of the Christian minority, and Mr. Neogy for the back benchers 
and Mr. Dumaeia, speaking for the Parsee community, joined in the tribute. 
Sir Alexander Muddiman too got up to place on the President's table his 
bunch of roses. He recalled from his experience in the chair that it was 
not a bed of roses, and acknowledged the courtesy and consideration received 
from the chair as leader of the House, and asked the members to guess 
his feeling on the subject of Mr. Patel's return to the chair, for it did not 
benefit him as leader to express any opinion on the subject. 

Mr. PATEL'S acknowledgment was most appropriate and dignified. He 
had not only considered it a solemn obligation to be impartial, but being an 
elected President he had to inspire members with the feeling that he was 
impartial. How much he succeeded in so doing was fully established from 
the chorus of congratulations that wab heaped on him from all sides of the 
House as some members had made reference to his past, when he was 
considered to be the stormy Patel of the Swaraj Party. Mr. Patel asserted 
emphatically that he had come into the chair with the desire to prove to the 
British Government that if Indians were described as irresponsible and 
destructive critics of the existing system, they were so because they had 
not been entrusted with responsibility and that the only way to fit them 
for responsible Government was to entrust them with the working of such 
a Government. That Mr. Patel has proved to the hilt Indian's fitness in 
this most responsible post in the country made even the Home Mem 
ber confess that the first elected President's work in the chair would go 
down as a landmark in constitutional history. 

Congratulations took most of the time and other business of the day 
was concluded iu ten minutes when the Assembly agreed to the amendment 
made by the Council of Slate to the Bar Councils Bill not because every 
member approved of it, but because the Council of State having been ad* 
journed sine die, any further amendment would leave the Bill impassed and 
make it lapse. 

The House then adjourned ' Sine dine '. 

The Council of State 


The Council of State held the first business sitting of Simla session on the 18TH 
AUGUST with non-official resolutions on the agenda, with Sir Henry Moncrief Smith, 
President, in the chair. There was a fair attendance of members including three Swara- 
jists, namely Dr. Rama Rao, Mr. Lokenath Mukherji and Eai Bahadur Nalini Nath Seth, 

Fay of Madras Customs Clerks, 

The first resolution was moved by Mr. P, C, Dcsikachari who wanted to level up the 
scales of pay of clerks in the Madras Customs House to that of clerks in Bombay and 
Calcutta. He clearly pointed out that in Madras where the cost of living is as high as 
in other presidency towns, the clerk could not expect to rise bryond KB. 65 after a 
service of even twenty-two years. No doubt the revised fccale of pay was announced last 
year, but the maximum under that even at the retiring age, if one has life in him, 
came to no more than the grand .figure of Hs. 3 per diem or Us. 90 per mensem. He 
twitted the Central Board bt Revenue which was an increasingly revenue-earning 
department not to treat those who brought the revenue by payiner mere starvation wages. 
The clerks m Madras were ill-clad and hunger-stricken as it were and they could not 
expect to make both ends meet with their miserable pittance. 

The appeals for sympathy and support which Mr. Chari raised on behalf of the 
literate labourers found support only in Mr. Syed Mahomed Padsha. But Mr. J, E. C. 
J.ukes, the new Finance Secretary put up a determined fight against the resolution which 
he characterised was mischievous in its effects, for according to him, the scale granted 
last year represented a considerable advance over any that existed before, and it was 
" unjust to the poor taxpayer " to raise the level of pay further, because, torsooth the 
cost of living m Madras is not so high as in Bombay or Calcutta. The Government's 
policy, he affirmed, was to pay the same scale as was granted to similar class of labourers 
by the local Government and if this principle was violated there would be introduced 
a vicious cncle of competition between the Central Government and local Goverument. 
Mr. Chan was inclined to regard the Madras Government's scales of pay to their own 
staffs as famine rations, ulr. Jukes angrily resisted this view and a veiled that if Mr. 
Chari wanted to accuse the Madras Government of sweating their local labourer, then 
that accusation should have been made m the Madras Council and not in the Council 
of State. After further dibcuseion the resolution was lost. 

Enquiry into Co-operation Movement;. 

The other resolution was moved by Sir Ibrahim Jaffar for an expert enquiry into 
the working of the co-operation movement. The idea was in itself a happy one, but 
the weakness of it lay in the fact that the subject is to be examined, partially though, 
by the Royal Commission on Agriculture. Sir Ibrahim's main plea, however, was that 
expert enquiry might go into the question of establishing a central co-operative bank, 
practicability of co-operative farming and encouragement of old handicrafts. Even Sir 
Umar Hayat Khan and Syed Baza Ali lent their support to the idea underlying the 
motion. But Sir Mahomed Habibullan met the mover m a skilfnl manner and quoted 
the figures relating to the progress of the co-operative movement duung the last five years. 
By offering the bait of a promise to circulate to Local Governments copies of the 
debate, he managed to induce Sir Ibrahim to withdraw his resolution. 

Official Bills The Evidence Act. 

On the 19TH AUGUST seven official bills were introduced. Four of the Bills 
introduced, all by the Hon'bJe Mr. Das, were intended to give effect to certain recom- 
mendations of the Civil Justice Committee. Mr. Das, in introducing the Bill to amend 
the Evidence Act 1872 pointed out that Section 63 provide* that if a document ii 


required by law to be attested, it should not be used as evidence until one attesting 
witness has been called for the purpose of proving its execution if there be an attesting 
witness alive and subject to process of the Court and capable of giving evidence. The 
Civil Justice Committee recommended an amendment so as to empower courts in the 
ease of non-testamentary registered instruments to dispense with the requirement of that 
Section unless execution or attestation is expressly denied and to provide that, in the case 
of suits execution or attestation should not be deemed to be expressly denied, unless 
it is specially denied in the pleadings and an issue has been framed thereon. Local 
Governments and High Courts were consulted on the recommendations and opinion gener- 
ally is in favour of it. 

Administrators-General Act. 

Mr. 8. R. Das, in introducing the Bill amending the Administrators-General Act of 
of 1913, said that Sections 31 and 32 of the Act 1913 authorise the Administrator-General 
in certain circumstances to grant a certificate to a claimant to the assets of a deceased 
person entitling him to receive them to a value not exceeding on the whole Rs. 1,000. 
The Civil Justice Committee recommended that this limit should be raised to Rs. 8,000. 
Local Governments were consulted and the Committee's recommendation has met with 
almost unanimous acceptance. In principle, the Bill gives effect, to that recommendation 
except that the limit is raised to Rs. 1,000 instead of Rs. 3,000. Reasons for preferring a 
lower limit of Rs. 2,000 are firstly, that there will be less loss of revenue to the State on 
account of Court fees for letters of administration and secondly that the grant of letters of 
administration is accompanied by a number of safeguards which do not attach to the 
grant of certificates hv the Administrator-General. The pecuniary limit prescribed in 
Section 9 of the Act which requires f be Administrator-General in certain circumstances 
to take proceedings for obtaining letters of administration of the estate of a person other 
than an exempted person when the aasers exceed the value of R. 1,000 has been similarly 
raised to Rs. 2,000. The alteration in Section 37 is consequential. 

Companies 1 Act. 

Mr. Corbett introduced a Bill amending the Companies Act of 1923 and 1913 the 
object of which is to enable associations formed for religious purposes to be registered 
under Section 26. 

Sind Courts Act. 

Mr. Crerar introduced a Bill to supplement the Sind Courts Act 1926. This was a 
formal Bill necessitated by passing the Act and gave effect to the amendment or repealed 
the demand to have been made by Section 49 of the Act. 

Cantonment Act. 

H. E. the Commander-in-Chief, in introducing the Bill amending the Cantonment Act 
of 1924, said this was, firstly, intended ro transfer authority under Sections 47 and 48 to 
the Governor-GfinoraJ-in-Council, from officer Commanding in Chief of the Command, 
Second Iv, it provided for exemption of any person or class of persons from Cantonment 
taxes. Thirdly, it makes provision for furthering educational object outside a Cantonment. 
Fourthly, it empowers the Government to make remission or refund of taxes on buildings 
in Hill Cantonments. 

Limitation Act. 

Mr. S. R. Das in introducing the Bill amending the Limitation Act of 1908, said that 
this was also in accordance with the recommendation of the Civil Justice Committee so 
as to make payment of interest in Section 20 subject to the conditions that the fact of 
payment should appear in the handwriting of the person makinp it. Secondly, that limited 
owners under the Hindu Law and Karta or Manager of a joint Hindu family should be 
enabled to make acknowledgments under Sections 19 and 20. Thirdly, the amendment 
is intended to make it clear that a suit to recover the value of paddy and such like 
produce charged on immovable property comes within article 82, and lastly that article 
166 applies to petition by a judgment debtor under Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code. 
Mr. Das finally introduced the Bill providing that partitions and separations of 
interest amongr members of Hindu undivided families and other transactions among persons 
governed by the Hindu Law shall, in certain cases, be effected by written and registered 
instruments. The Council then adjourned. 

Government Press Employees. 

The Swarajists attended in large numbers on the 23RD AUGUST when the Council 
of State re-assembled after three days' interval, 


After qneeUone, Mr, Lokenath Mukherji (Swarajist) moved for an early abolition of 
the piece- wo' k system in the Government of India presses or for a committee of officials 
and non-officials to enquire into the grievances of press employees and suggest remedies, 
The mover gave an outline ot the disabilities of peace- workers by pointing oat that they 
had to work long bourn. Consequently, their health broke down frequently and they were 
liable to fine and similar punishment in cases of absence. The system was expensive and 
complex and under it, one set of workers profitted and prospered at the expense of another. 
Moreover, the older man grew the less was his income, whereas it ought to be the other 
way about. If any reduction in establishment was effected, the class of persons affected 
was the piece-workers. Concluding, Mr. Mukherji complained that the rpcommendations 
of the Piece-workers 1 Committee bad not been fully given effect to. For example the 
provident fund system had not been introduced. 

Mr. Ley (Industries and Labour Secretary), on behalf of the Government, pointed 
out that all the recommendations of the Committee had been given effect to with the 
exception of the provident fund, but the provident fund question for piece-workers was 
merged in the general question of provident fund for Government employees and the fram- 
ing of rules which was an elaborate process and took time. But when the rules were ready, 
they would be given retrospective effect. The piece-workers' system had done well, for 
under it the worker got the full benefit of his labour and the employer the full benefit of 
his money. The maximum salary paid under this was over Rs. 190. The position 
of piece-workers had improved considerably after 1921. If the system was abolished, 
then the Government had to increase the ordinary establishment enormously. The Com- 
mittee appointed in Bengal recently on piece-work system had endorsed the conclusions 
of the Government of India Committee. It would, of course, not be correct to say that 
piece-workers had no grievance but the managers of presses under whom they directly 
worked knew their particular grievances and could always be expected to consider them 

After further discussion, the resolution was lost by 18 against 28 votes. 

Enquiry into Indian Banking. 

The Council then resumed discussion on the resolution of Sir Ibrahim Jaffer for an 
enquiry into the question of the desirability of legislating with a view to place Indian 
banking on a sound footing. It will be remembered that this motion was first discussed 
in the Delhi session on the I Oth March. 

Sir Ph froze Sethna (Bombay), in supporting the motion, said that in Canada they 
regarded investments in banks and insurance companies as requiring protection by law. 
It was necessary that an Indian banking system should progress on right lines with the 
help of right legislation. No doubt, India had its own banking system for centuries, but 
with the growth of Western education and with commercial advancement along with 
other nations of the world, it was necessary that they should improve the system and 
the Government of India should do all they could to further the cause of banking in this 
country. It was true that the Imperial Bank had increased the numbpr of branches, but 
there was much to be done. As it was possible that the Hoors of a perfectly strong and 
sound banking institution nngbt he closed by malicious reports of interested persons, it 
was necessary to legislate against the actions of such persons. But the Bombay Govern- 
ment had opined that the existing legislation will enable a bank to proceed against any 
person who made such malicious reports and it was drastic to proceed against undesirable 
shareholders and that the banks had the remedy in their own hands. The Bombay 
Government did not B!SO think that vexatious proceedings in civil suits were to be legis- 
lated against and that, there could be legislation in regard to criminal suits only, provided 
the person who brought the proceedings had obtained permission from a High Court or 
District Court. The Government of India, in reviewing the Bombay Government's view, 
had expressed fear that If legislation was passed to protect banks, then there would be 
any number of small institutions which were not banks in thp full sense of the term which 
would claim the benefit of legislation. Mr. Macwatters, speaking in March last, pointed 
out that the External Capital Committee, the Currency Commission and the Taxation 
Committee were engaged in thn question and that the problem was one of co-ordination of 
improving the law relating to Negotiable Instruments, of starting banking institutions 
and reduction of stamp duties on cheques. If any of these points had not been disposed 
of, then the Government of India should take up the matter for enquiry. 

Sir Ibrahim Jaffer gaid that he bad a discussion with Mr. Jukes regarding this resoln 
tion. It appeared that the reports of the Taxation Committee, the External Capital Com- 
mittee, and the Currency Committee were still under consideration. It was no use, 
therefore, postponing the discussion pf the motion, Mr. Jukes was willing to accept the 

*9 AttO. '46] OFFICIAL BILLS *a 

motion on condition that, if the enquiries now in progress and about to be undertaken 
did not provide sufficient material for a decision as to the desirability of banking legis- 
lation, then the Government would be prepared to institute farther enquiries. In any 
case, if the result of the enquiries made was to indicate the need for legislation, the 
Government would certainly take legislation in hand. He had accepted the conditions 
mentioned above. He, therefore, begged the Council to pass the resolution unanimously. 

Mr. Jukes said the Government was prepared to accept the resolution on the conditions 
stated. The resolution was carried. The House then adjourned. 

Personnel of League Delegation. 

The Council of State re-assembled on the 24TH AUGUST when official bills intro- 
duced a few daysjago were taken into consideration and passed. At the outset, Mr. 8. E. 
Das announced the complete personnel of India's delegation to the League of Nations, 
namely, Sir William Vincent, Maharaja of Eapurthala and Sheikh Sir Abdul Qadir as 
delegates and the following as substitute delegates : Sir Edward C'hamier, Sir C. P. Rama- 
iwami Aiyar and Sir B. K. Mullick. 

The Evidence Act. 

The Bills were then considered one by one. On the motion of Mr. 8. B. Das, the 
Bill amending the Evidence Act 1872, was passed, the Law Member agreeing to bring 
before the Assembly a small amendment. 

Administrator-General's Act. 

There was a good deal of discussion on the next Bill which was to amend the Ad- 
ministrator-General's Act 1913. Under this Bill, the Government proposed to extend 
from Bs. 1,000 to Bs. 2,000 the limit of value of assets of a deceased person which would 
entitle a grant of certificate to a cl aimant. 

Sir Manekji Dadabbai drew the attention of the Council to the fact that the Civil 
Justice Committee had recommended the limit to be put at Bs. 3,000, He had shrewd 
suspicion that some local Governments were in favour of this figure whereas the Govern- 
ment of India had limited it to Bs. 2,000 chiefly on the ground of revenue. Sir Manekji 
who moved that the limit be put at Bs. 8,000 stressed it in the interests of a large class 
of people who could not afford the expense of litigation. 

Syed Baza Ah asked whether the High Courts were consulted and what the pre- 
ponderating view of the Judges was. Sir Dinshaw Wacha, Sir Arthur Froom, Bai 
Bamsaran Das and Sir Umar Hayat Khan supported the observations of Sir Manekji 

Mr. S. B. Das pointed out that the question of revenue was no doubt of some 
importance bat the main reason which prompted the Government of India to fix the 
limit at Rs. 2,000 was on the question of safeguards. Moreover, there was opposition 
on the part of some authorities to the extension of the limit to KB. 3,000 although he 
(the Law Member) admitted that local Governments and High Court Judges favoured 
more the Bs. 3,000 limit than the Bs. 2,000 limit. 

The amendment of Sir Manekji Dadabhai was lost by 12 against 22. The Bill was 
then passed without any alteration. 

Sind Courts Act and Companies Act. 

On the motion of Mr. Carzett, the Bill amending the Companies Act 1913 and on 
the motion of Mr. Crerar, the Bill supplementing the Sind Courts Act 1926 were passed, 
the latter with consequential amendments. 

The Cantonments Act. 

The Commander-in-Chief then moved for the consideration of the Bill amending 
the Cantonments Act 1924. Sir Ibrahim Jailer, in supporting the motion, suggested 
that it would be better to examine the whole of Cantonment legislation instead of this 
kind of piecemeal improvements every year. Sardar Jaidev Singh considered the 
provisions of the Bill praiseworthy. After a short discussion, the Bill was passed. 

Other Bills. 

The Council then passed the Bill to amend the Limitation Act 1908. Lastly, on 
the motion of Mr. Das the Council agreed to the Government eliciting public opinion on 
the Bill which provides that partitions and separation of interest among members of 
Hindu undivided families and other transactions among persons governed by Hindu law 
should, in certain cases, be effected by written and registered instruments. 


Mr. V. Ramadas Pantnla, while agreeing to circulate the Bill, entered hit emphatic 
protest against both the principle and details of the measure. He described that the 
Bill was a retrogade one and attempted to take away the good work done by judicial 
tribunals during the last quarter of the century regarding partition in Hindu undivided 
families. Sardar Jaidev Singh, Rai Ramsaran Das and Mr. Chari spoke generally 
supporting Mr. Ram ad as Pantnlu's views. Sir Manekji Dadabhai did not consider that 
the Bill in any way meant any invasion on the principles of Hindu law as enunciated 
by eminent judges of the High Courts. He could not see how compulsory registration 
in the case of a partition deed would cause inconvenience. The advantages to administ- 
ration of civil justice and security to parties concerm-d far outweighed the expenses that 
would be incurred in connection with registration. The benefit, far from being of a 
doubtful character, would be absolutely real. Mr. 8. R. Das pointed out that the motion 
for circulation was aimed definitely at eliciting all opinions with a view to see that no 
hardship should be felt by the class of persons concerned. The Council then adjurned. 

Taxation Committee Report. 

The Government resolution for consideration of the Taxation Committee's report 
came up in the Council of State on the next day, the 25TH AUGUST. 

Mr. J.E, C. Jukes in a speech lasting half an hour traversed the grounds covered by 
Sir Basil in the Assembly. He said that the terms of his resolution were non-committal, 
but there was already a member of the House who evidently suffered from intellectual 
indigestion and wanted to follow the example set by the other House in declining the 
invitation of the Government to the banquet. It would be interesting to see whether Dr. 
Rama Rao who had tabled the adjournment motion would follow his consistency suffi- 
ciently far and refuse to join in the general budget discussion next spring. 

Dr. Rama Rao moved that the discussion on the report of the Committee be 
adjourned till the next session of the Council. He said that it would be improper, 
unwise and premature for this House to make any suggestions unless the Government 
came forward with definite proposals. Any discussion without Government proposals 
before the Council would be merely academic. Moreover this Council had no power or 
responsibility under the statute to initiate any proposals for taxation. 

Mr. Chari agreed with Mr. Rama Rao and contended that no country should be 
obliged to tax itself unless it was able to govern itself. He objected to the Government 
putting the burden of responsibilities for initiating proposals on the non-official 

Sir Sankaran Nair, in opposing the adjournment, argued that because the Council 
bad no statutory power to initiate proposals for taxation there was all the greater reason 
why the Council should make constructive suggestions and advise the Government not to 
tak<* wrong decisions in respect of any objectionable proposals of the Committee. Some 
of the recommendations vitally affected certain classes of people and the Council was given 
an excellent opportunity of discussing them. There were many suggestions for relief 
to some people and there were statements made in the report, all of which run counter to 
the popular view. These must be knocked on their head. If the Council did not discuss 
the report, the Government would proceed with the recommendations at the wrong end. 

Sir Manekji Dadabhoy remarked that if the Government brought forward any 
definite proposals there would be complete dislocation of the market consequent on 
speculation. Mr. Jukes had said that it was not the intention of the Government to bring 
any additional taxation. On the other hand, he had indicated that the tendency was 
rather towards reduction than increased taxation. If the Council wanted mere ad- 
journment of discussion till the next session then he would not oppose it. 

The adjournment motion was pressed to a division and carried by 24 against 9 votes, 
the Government members and officials remaining neutral. The House then adjourned. 

Official Bills. 

The Council of State met again on the 28TH AUGUST when three official bills passed 
by the Assembly were taken into consideration and passed without alteration. First of all 
Mr. Crerar in moving the consideration of the Usurious Loans Act Amendment Bill 
pointed out that it enabled the debtor to initiate litigation as under the English Act 
and extended the period of limitation from six to twelve years. This Bill had received 
a substantial measure of support from local Governments. The Bill was considered clause 
by clause and passed. 

On the motion of Mr. Ley, the Bill amending the Workmen's Compensation Act 1923 
was passed. This Bill enables the G ivernment to give effect to provisions in respect of 
anthrax of the draft convention concerning workmen's compensation for occupational 


diseases. Lastly, the Council passed the Bill amending the Negotiable Instruments 
Aot, 1881, and Civil Prooedure Code 1908 so as to enable a plaintiff to get interest at 
six per cent in cases where the rate of interest is not specified on the instrument itself, 
The Honse then adjourned. 

The Bar Councils Bi/l. 

The last Sitting of the Council was on the 31ST AUGUST when the Bar Councils 
Bill as amended by the Assembly was taken into consideration. 

Sir Maneckjee Dadabhoy led the opposition to a measure which he considered was 
revolutionary in character. The Bill made drastic changes in the traditional constitu- 
tion of the Indian Bar. It was an irony of fate that one of the most distinguished mem- 
bers of the Calcutta Bar should, by virtue of his office, be used as an unwilling instru- 
ment to move a Bill of this character. 

Sir Maneckjee Dadabhoy was desirous that the legal profession in India should 
follow the high traditions of the English Bar and should not be led away by senti mentality. 
The Government of India, in a moment of weakness or in a moment of enthusiasm 
in 1921, yielded to pressure exerted by the Vakil hierarchy in the Assembly. The 
Government did not consult the Council of State on the recommendations of the Bar 
Committee before proceeding with legislation. The present tradition of the Vakil's profes- 
sion in India was due to the Vakils' association and contact with members of the English 
Bar. The Bar Council which would be constituted under this Bill would in course of 
time have a preponderance of vakils who would be guided by political, communal and 
professional ]ealousicB in the conduct of their profession. 

It was monstrous to place the members of the English Bar below the rank of Vakils 
who were men of inferior knowledge and education. 

He was sure that English barristers would he itate to come to India under conditions 
of indignity and inferiority. So far as Government was concerned the Bill was " fait 
accompli." To oppose the motion resembled ' crying in the wilderness,*' but he could 
not refrain from uttering the warning that the Bill would give trouble to the Government. 
It would create bitterness, and in about 20 yars the Bar in India would be reduced to a 
collection of muktears. 

Mr. P. C. Deeikachari contested the arguments of Sir Mancckjee, It was too late in 
the day to question the capacity of Indian vakils, most of whom were equal to, if not 
better than, their English colleagues. The introduction of Bar Counsils would be a happy 
augury in the constitution and development of the Bar in India. 

Sir Pheroze Sethna, in supporting the Bill, said it was the first step towards not 
only the creation of a United Indian Bar, but the beginning of the establishment of a 
Supreme Court. If there was merit in a man, whether English or Indian, the legal 
fraternity m India was always prepared t> recognise it. He characterised the Bill as a 
great advance of which they must be proud. The Bill contemplated nothing more than 
the levelling of vakils who were, as a class, as able as the barrister class from England. 

Syed Rassa Ali asked Sir Maneckjee Dadabhoy to understand the injustice of the 
present system, under which the ablest vakils were treated iniquitously, while persons 
who failed to pass the Indian Matriculation Examination and yet who passed the easy 
Bar examination in England returned to India to be treated better than the vakils. 
There was no reason why men of high qualifications should be subjected to disabilities 
simply because they did not go to England for training. The Bill did nothing more 
than level up the vakils and contained ample provisions to safeguard interests of barristers. 
It was always open to the Government of India to make amendments to the Act. 

The motion for consideration of the Bill was passed. Tha Bill was then considered 
clause by clause. Mr. Kumar Shanker Bay Choudhri moved in respect of clause 9 relating 
to qualifications and admission of advocates that no person should b disqualified for 
admission as an advocate into any High Court merely on the ground of his not being 
domiciled within the jurisdiction of that High Court. The amendment supported by 
Mr. Chari was negatived by 11 to 29 votee. 

Mr. S. B. Das moved in respect of clause H the addition of a sub-clause that nothing 
in this section (relating to rights of advocates to practise) should be deemed to limit or 
in any way to affect the power of the High Courts of Calcutta and Bombay to make rules 
determining the persons who should be entitled respectively to plead and to act in the 
High Court in exercise ot its original jurisdiction. The amendment was in accordance 
with the recommendation of the Bar Committee that the dual system, as existing at 
present, should not in any way be effected. The amendment which was opposed by Mr. 
Kumar Bhankar Boy was carried. The Bill, as thus amended, wai passed unanimously, 


Bill to Consolidate' Forest Laws. 

Syed Baza AH then moved for leave to introduce a Bill to consolidate the law rela- 
ting to forests, the transit of forest produce, and the duty leviable on timber and other 
forest produce. He said the general law relating to forests in Briti h India is contained 
in the Indian Forest Act of 1878 and its amending Acts, The present Bill brought the 
law together within the scope of one enactment. The Bill was introduced. 

On the motion of Mr. 8. B. Dass the Bill to amend the Provincial Insolvency Act 
of 1920 was taken into consideration and passed without discussion. 

C. P. 0. Amendment Passed. 

Consideration of the Bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898 as passed 
by the Assembly was next moved by Mr. Crerar, Home Secretary. 

Sir Pheroze Sethna, while supporting the measure, contended that its life must be 
limited on the statute book to two years. 

Sir Maneckjee Dadabhoy gave his whole-hearted support to the Bill. He submitted 
that a Bill which gave Government powers which would have prompt and deterrent 
effects should be on the statute book, not for two years as was suggested by some but 

Mr. A. M. Stow, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, in supporting the measure spoke with 
some practical experience in Delhi of how communal bitterness was aroused. 

The motion for consideration was passed without opposition. 

Mr. Bamdas Pantulu moved that operation of the Bill be limited to two years. The 
amendment was lost by 8 against 30 votes. The Bill was passed without a division. 

Indian Succession Act. 

On the motion of the Law Member the Council then passed the Bill amending the 
Indian Succession Act 1926 as passed by the Assembly. Sir Arthur Froom moved for the 
acceptance of amendments made by the Assembly in the Bill to amend provisions 
of Section 33 of the Indian Succession Act 1925. The Council agreed. 

This disposed of the business before the House and the Council was then adjourned 

The Bengal Legislative Council 

CALCUTTA 1 7TH & 18 TH MAY 1926. 

The Security Bill. 

With the sole object of throwing out the Security Bill which was intro- 
duced on the 17TH MAY at an emergent session of the Bengal Legislative 
Council, the Swarajist members came to the Council, for the first time, after 
they had left it during the budget discussion in march last. The Swarajists 
solidly voted against it, but they were defeated, 61 voting for and 46 against 
the motion. The Swarajists and some of their Nationalist friends left the 
hall, after which the clauses of the Bill were considered. 


H. E. Lord Lytton, addressing the Council on the necessity of the Bill re- 
minded the members of the criticisms which had bean brought against the Govt.. 
Because a majority of the Police were Hindus, some Mahomedan critics had 
felt justified in making a general accusation against them of partiality, and of 
even aiding and abetting their co-religionists in looting Mahomedan property. 
Then, Government were blamed for not having foreseen the recrudescence 
of rioting, which started with a drunken quarrel on the 22nd April. Taking 
the two periods together, they had been told that they had shown indifference 
and incompetence, that they had not used the powers they already possessed 
to get rid of bad characters, and that to cover up their own sins of omission, 
they were now asking for new and wholly unnecessary powers when it was 
too late for them to be of any use in the present emergency but which might 
be put to improper use in future in connection with political agitation or 
trade disputes. 

There had been evidence, all over India, continued His Excellency, of 
growing tension between the two communities ; but there had been no pro* 
vious indication that Calcutta was likely to be the battle-ground. There waa 
absolutely no justification, either in the first or second phase of the riots lor 
any greater demonstration of military force. Indiscriminate shooting of 
innocent people, because of the lawless acts of a few, would have been a crime. 

After thanking the Police and the Military for the part they had played 
in the suppression of the riots, His Excellency proceeded to meet the charges 
brought against the Hindu Police in the first riots. He had only this to say. 
Every well-supported accusation would be fully investigated. Four constables 
had been dismissed from the force for having taken part in the looting of 
Mahomedan property. There would be no screening of individuals who were 
proved to have failed in their duty, although His Excellency did not admit 
that the discipline of the whole force was found wanting in the present riots. 
But he could not too strongly deprecate the general and unsupported charges 
which had been made and which only tended to accentuate communal bitter* 
new. If the Hindu Police Officers were to be mistrusted by Mahomedaw, 


and the Mahomedan Officers were to be mistrusted by the Hindus, the only 
conclusion they should be forced to was, that the Indian Police could not be 
employed to keep order in India, a conclusion which he absolutely refused 
to accept. 

Regarding the second riots, His Excellency said there was no justification 
for declaration of martial lav , or for the use of military force to deal with the 
disturbance. An ugly feature of those riots was the series of brutal and 
cowardly murders of individuals and no amount of military force could have 
prevented these. These murders were rendered possible by the existence in 
the city of a class of hooligans belonging to both the communities, to whom 
violent crime was not abhorrent. To the Goonda clement which the Police 
were engaged in clearing out, a new element had recently been added, arising 
out of the growing tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities and 
accentuated by the panic created by the first riots. Both sides had imported 
men from upcountry, both for their individual protection aud for the strength- 
ening of their communal forces. That had been the chief cause of the recent 
riots, and that still constituted the chief menace to the peace of Calcutta. 
The problem, therefore, before them, was how they might most effectively rid 
Calcutta of this dangerous element, imported from upcountry, and arm the 
regular Police force of the city with sufficient powers to protect the lives and 
property of the defenceless citizens, The demand that the citizens should be 
allowed to arm themselves and become responsible for their own defence led 
straight to the conditions of the jungle ; and the issue before them, therefore, 
was between the rule of law, by which civilised communities were governed, 
or the rule of claw by which the beasts preserved their lives. The charge was 
that they had already powers to deal with these imported hooligans, that they 
had not used them, and that if they need them vigorously there would be no 
need for the summary powers they were asking for. The charge was based 
on ignorance both of the problem and of the existing law. The problem was 
not merely a Goonda problem, and it could not be solved by the application 
of the Goonda Act alone. If this Bill was passed, it would be possible for the 
Government to deal with this new danger, and thereby lessen the chances of 
a fresh outbreak. 

The powers of the Bill were limited to a state of emergency. A large 
number of those persons against whom the Bill was directed, had already 
been arrested and induced to leave Calcutta. If the Bill was uot passed, 
there would be nothing to prevent a return of those bad characters. Those 
now in custody would soon be released. In addition to those who had left, 
there still remained in Calcutta a large number of men who could not be 
dealt with effectively under the Goonda Act, and who would constitute a very 
real danger in the event of any further recrudescence of disturbances. Such 
was the case for the Bill, which the Council had been summoned to consider. 

In assuring the House, that the term of these powers had been limited 
to three months in emergency, His Excellency said that, although the powers 
would be exercised by the Commissioner of Police, they could not be so 
exercised whenever he pleased, but only with the authority of, and subject to 
the control of, the Government. It was a mistake, therefore, to describe 
these, as powers given to the Police. They were, in fact, powers given to 
the Local Government. There was a complete safeguard that the powers of 
the Bill should only be used in emergencies. The decision, as to whether or 
not a state of emergency existed) was, of necessity, left to the Executive, 


since ifc wag essentially an executive responsibility. His Excellency continu- 
ed : -"Lest any one should be afraid that these powers would be abused, I 
would point out that, in Bombay, the Police are empowered, by the City of 
Bombay Police Act of 1902, to remove at any time, persons whose presence 
is thought likely to cause danger or alarm." This, he added, was a far more 
general power than was now being asked for in Calcutta, arid it had been in 
force for 24 years without any suggestion of its having been abused". His 
Excellency concluded : "I now leave that issue in your hinds, in the confi- 
dent expectation that you will give it the careful attention which the impor- 
tance of the subject deserves, and that your decision will reflect the calm 
judgment of responsible citizens," 

After Sir Hugh Stephenson moved for consideration of the Bill (THE 
taken on the ground that, under Standing Order 51, the Bill ought to be 
published seven days prior to its consideration. But the President ruled the 
objection out of order. 

Mr. M. N. Roy, Swarajist, said the Bill seemed to them so monstrous 
that they could not remain outside the Council. According to them, the Bill 
had been brought as a justification for the inaction of the Government during 
the early stages of the riots. The existing powers of the Government, had 
they been exercised in timo, would have been adequate enough to deal with 
the hooligans. Moreover, there was no safeguard against misuse of the 
measure. The legislation had created panic and apprehension that any 
person who would incur the displeasure of the police would be liable to suffer. 

Mr. Villiers, in supporting the motion, said that in a measure of public 
safety too many safeguards should not be introduced as to make it useless. 

Mr. Khaitan held that the Mahomedans were responsible for riots. 

Mr. Kader Bux opposed the motion because he thought Mahomedans 
would be first to fall victims to the Act. 

Mr. J. M. Sen Gupta said if the Government had used the powers they 
had got under the ordinary laws, the riots would not have been prolonged. 
The real purpose of the Bill was to cover up the charges that had been made 
against the Executive and the Police, namely, that they had failed to do 
their duty. 

Mr. Ghuznavi supported the motion, and said that Mahomedans suffered 
very much at the hands of up-country Goondas brought down by a certain sec" 
tion of the Hindus. 

After the motion was carried, the Bill was discussed clause by clause, 
and a number of amendments were thrown out. The House then adjourned 
to meet again on the next day, the 1 8TH MAY, when Sir Hugh Stephenaon, 
member in charge, accepted some safeguards to the Bill, and he himself 
moved some of them. 

The new clauses accepted on this day give an opportunity to the person 
against whom an order under the Act is proposed to be made, to show cause 
against that order. The authorities making an order under the Act are 
required to forward, in writing, to the Local Government, their reasons for 
making the same. Another amendment, which was accepted by the Govern* 
ment gives an option to the person against whom an order is made, to petition 
the Local Government to revoke or modify the order, and the Local Govern- 
ment is to consider such facts as might be placed before it, and i$ empowered 
to modify or annul the order. 


An attempt was made to have orders issued under the Act to be revised 
by High Court Judges ; but the proposal was not accepted by Sir Hugh 
Stephenson, who was of opinion that in a case like this, the Executive Govern- 
ment would be in a far better position to come to a true decision about the 
circumstances than the Judiciary. 

The Howrah Bridge Bill and the Bengal Tenancy Bill of 1926 were al- 
lowed to lie over till the next session of the Council. 

The Council was prorogued. 

The July Session. 


The next Session of the Council commenced on the 6TH JULY in 
a true moonsoonish weather. The Swarajist and Nationalist members 
excepting 5 Mubammadan Swarajists were conspicuous by their absence. The 
business of the day consisted of the introduction of seven non-official bills, all 
of which, except one, were rejected at the time of reference to Select Com* 
uitees. Ihe Council then adjourned. 

Enquiry into Police Administration. 

The next meeting was on the 8TH JULY when two resolutions 
were discussed and both of them elicited a heated debate and display of 
communal feeling. The first resolution urged an enquiry into the Calcutta 
Police administration and the second urged for the appointment of more 
Mahomedans in the Government service. Mr. H. S. Suhrawardy who 
moved the first resolution, said that they lived in Calcutta entirely at the 
mercy of the Goondas. There was great disparity between the Hindu 
and Mahomedan police officers. The number of Hindus in Calcutta Police 
far exceeded that of the Mahomedans. It was well-known that, during 
the second communal riot in Calcutta, casualties among the Mahomedans were 
far greater than casualties among the Hindus. Further, more Mahomedan 
shops were looted than Hindu shops, and the number of the Mahomedans, 
sent up for trial, far exceeded that of the Hindus. He also pointed out that 
severer sentences were passed on the Mahomedans than on the Hindus charg- 
ed with the same offence. The President called him to order, as the police 
had nothing to do with it. 

Mr. P. N. Guha characterised Mr. Suhrawardy's speech as nothing but a 
hymn of hate against the Hindu police officers. The object of the enquiry 
was to decrease the number of the Hindu officers in the Calcutta Police and 
increase the number of the Mahomedan officers in proportion. 

Sir Abdur Eahim, supporting the motion, said that, though he was not 
making any insinuation against any police officer, he observed that there was 
something in the organisation, something in the administration and something 
in the working of the Calcutta Police, that did not appeal to the Calcutta 
public. The recent communal riots bad shown that there should be 'Con- 
siderable reorganisation of the Calcutta Police. The police were powerless to 
protect those who needed protection. Rich Marwaris imported up-country 
Durwans to look after their lives and properties. In conclusion, he said that 
there was ao organisation and brains behind these communal riots which had 
p very serious political significance, 

9 jftftY *a6] THE JULY SESSION *jj 

Mr. Debi Prasad Khaitan said that Sir Abdur Bahim had the fullest 
knowledge of the organisation behind the riots and, as regards the brains 
working behind these organisations, the Kushtia and Pabna incidents were 
still fresh in their minds. As regards Marwaris employing Durwans, he said 
that they were employed for making collections. 

Mr. Qhuznavi said that Hindu constables had a hand in looting Maho- 
medan shops. The constables came from the same class as the Goondas. 

Mr. Birley, replying, opposed the motion. He said it was true that a 
large number of Mahomedans were sent up for murder and that was because 
in one case, 37 persons were sent up. On the other hand, on the charge of 
hurt) the number of Hindus exceeded that of the Mahomedans. 100 Hindu 
shops and 118 Mahomedan shops were looted and 97 Hindus and |106 Maho- 
medans were sent up for trial. Without admitting the charges against the 
Hindu police officers, Mr. Birley recognised that, if there was a large number 
of 'Mahomedans in the Calcutta Police, both in the superior grades and among 
the constables, the Mahomedan community, in times like these, would have 
greater confidence in the Calcutta Police. That was an aspect of the question 
which the Government could not ignore. On the subject of enquiry, he said 
that it was undesirable in the present state of communal feeling to hold any 
enquiry, as it would only lead to the increase of communal bitterness. 

The resolution was put and negatived. 

The second resolution urged that immediate steps be taken to give at 
least 50 per cent of the Government posts to the Mahomedans, After an 
hour's discussion, the resolution was withdrawn. The House then adjourned. 

Establishment of Union Boards. 

On the 9TH JULY there was some discussion when a resolution, urging 
the postponement of the establishment of union boards under the Village 
Self-Government Act was moved. The Hon'ble Mr. Birley, in opposing the 
motion, referred to the activities of the Congress candidates in the election 
of the union boards in the Midnapore District. It was given out by the 
Congress candidates that four annas subscription to the Congress would 
exempt people from all future taxation. 

The Maharaja of Nadia said that when the Non- Co-operation movement 
gathered force, the union boards became a target for the attacks of agitators. 
As regards Congress opposition, the Maharaja said that it was surely a 
paradoxical situation that the so-called popular movement was directed 
against increased powers of self-government. The resolution was rejected. 

Another resolution urging the prohibition of the slaughter of calves and 
prime cows was rejected. 

The Council adopted a resolution urging the appointment of a non-official 
Committee to prepare a Bill for affording Government assistance to industries 
in Bengal. The House then adjourned. 

The Howrah Bridge Bill. 

Onthel2TH JULY the Swarajists attended the Council for the first 
time since their walk-out. 

The Hon. Mr. Donald presented the report of the Select Committee on the 
Howrah Bridge Bill after which the Bill was taken up for consideration clause 
by clause. Mr. Donald began by remarking that this bill wass introdued in this 
Council so long ago as August 1924, and it would be desirable to refresh the 
memory of this Council with the question of the replacement of a bridge 


which had been in existence lor over 50 years. The present Howrah Bridge 
was finished towards the end of 1874 and was opened in 1875. It had carried 
on very well till about 1909, when the question of a new bridge came up for 
consideration. From 1909 down to the present day, the question of the 
Howrah Bridge had become a hardy annual. The port Commissioners who 
were the authorities in charge of the present bridge, had managed to maintain 
it, up to the present time, as a good connection between Calcutta and Howrah. 
The proposals in the Bill, now before them, were based on the recommenda- 
tions of two committees, one in 1921 presided by Sir Bajendranath Mukeijee. 
That committee sat to determine the type of bridge. The other committee was 
appointed to determine whether Bengal was able to afford a bridge. It would 
be within the recollection of the members of this House that the Engineers 9 
Committee recommended a cantilever bridge. They thought that a floating 
bridge was the second best and they rejected a pier bridge. As there had 
been much discussion on this question of a pier bridge, a suggestion was 
made that they might experiment with piers in the river, because the objec- 
tion to a pier bridge was that there was grave danger. The Port Commis- 
sioners and the engineers strongly objected to putting piers in the river, be- 
cause, in the first place, such an experiment would take at least seven or 
eight years and the present bridge would be in the river long before that. 
Then the tides and the whole flow of the river would be affected miles away, 
as well as the docks and mills. Next, if by laying the piers any danger was 
caused, or any sign of danger being caused is shown, they would have to 
take those piers out at once. It was rather difficult matter to take out 
big piers in the river and it would very considerably interfere with the 
working of the port. The Select Committee, therefore, came to the 
conclusion that any attempt to experiment with piers involved too great a 
risk. The Finance Committee considered the cost of the bridge. The 
Select Committee came to the conclusion that the estimated amount was far 
too much for Calcutta to spend on a cantilever bridge and they decided on a 
bridge of the cheapest type possible. They were, therefore, back again on 
what was called a floating bridge. At any rate it must afford more convenience 
as a bridge and must be twice the width of the present bridge. For the 
maintenance and upkeep of a bridge of this sort, they must provide 15 
lakhs a year. As soon as the Bill was passed tenders would be called for. 
Several repairs were being done to the present bridge which would carry 
matters on to the time when a new bridge could be constructed. Therefore 
it was imperative that they should get through this Bill on Monday or 
Tuesday in order to get on with this work. There was no question of 
rushing this Bill. On the other hand the progress was very leisurely, as 
the Bill was introduced two years ago. 
The motion was carried. 

Calcutta Riots. 

The Calcutta riots of April and may last again loomed large at question 
time in the Council on this day, the spokesmen of the two communities 
being Mr. H. S. Suhrawardy, Deputy Mayor of the Calcuttta Corporation, 
and Mr. Deviprased Khaitan. Mr. Suhrawardy put a number of questions 
asking for full information regarding the personnel of the City Police classi- 
fied communally, as also the number of injured, wounded and killed among 
bis co-religionists, 


Mr. Deviprasad's interpellations elicited exhaustive replies on communal 
lines as to the number of applications put in by members of the different 
communities for licences for possessing firearms. One of his questions 
suggested that the attendance" at the premier Hindu School in Calcutta had 
fallen down owing to the sense of insecurity on account of the school being 
situated in a dangerous locality. He was assured by the Hon'ble member 
in charge that lives of boys and property of the school were secure and 
the police were able to afford the necessary protection. 

Mr. Suhrawardy's questions elicited the information that the total 
number of killed and wounded during the first and second phases of the 
riots was as follows : 

Killed : 50 Mahomedans, and 54 Hindus. Wounded : 451 Mahomedans 
and 499 Hindus. As the result of nobs, 242 persons were treated in tem- 
porary Muslim hospitals and by Muslim doctors. One hundred and ten per- 
sons died in consequence of injuries received during the riots. The total 
number of persons admitted in the hospitals and discharged was 975, of 
whom 451 were Mahomedans and 499 were Hindus and Sikhs. 

Levy of a Tax on Calcutta. 

Then followed a heated discussion as regards a tax to be levied on 
Calcutta. The Select Committee suggested one and a quarter per cent on 
the valution of Calcutta holding. The mofussil members wanted to raise it. 

By a narrow majority) the Council decided to raise it to one and a 
half. The discussion was not concluded when the Council ladjourued. 

Howrah Bridge Bill Passed. 

On the 13TH JULY the Howrah Bridge Bill was passed by a majority 
of 18 votes, 59 voting for and 41 against. 

The Calcutta Municipal Act Amendment Bill was then passed. 

The Bengal Motor Vehicles Tax Bill was referred to a Select Committee. 
The Bill empowered local bodies to impose a moderate tax on the owners 
of motor vehicles in the mofussil to improve the roads maintained by the 
district boards and municipalities. 

Calcutta Port Trust Amend. Bill. 

The Hon'ble Mr. Donald introduced a bill to amend the Calcutta Port 
Act. The Bill waa designed to increase the number of representatives on 
the Calcutta Port Commission. There will be four members of the Bengal 
National Chamber on the Port Commissioners' Board instead of one. The 
Agents of the East Indian, Bengal Nagpur and Eastern Bengal Railways, the 
Collector of Customs and the Port Officer would be ex-officio Commissioner!. 

The Council was then prolonged. 

CALCUTTA ~ 1 6TH TO 207H AUGUST 1926. 

Calcutta Port Trust Bill. 

The last session of the Council commenced on the 16TH AUGUST. 
The Swarajists attended to oppose the passing of the Calcutta Port Trust 
Amendment Bill on the ground that the lodian representation on the 
Board of the Port Trust was inadequate. The Board of Trust, as given in the 
Bill, will consist of 19 membersof which 7 will be ex-officio and 12 elected. 
These elected members will be represented as follows ; Six by the Bengal 


Chamber, one by the Calcutta Trades, three by the Bengal National Chamber, 
one by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and one by the Calcutta Cor- 

There was another amendment moved by Sir Abdur Eahim and sup- 
ported by Mr. Ghuznavi which was described by the Swarajists during 
discussion as verging on oommunalism. The amendment urged that instead 
of four representatives by the Bengal National Chamber and the Indian 
Chamber of Commerce, these four will be represented by such body or bodies 
as the local Government shall, from time to time, select as best representing 
the interests of the Indian mercantile community. The object of the amend- 
ment, according to the mover, was to include Mahomedan interests in the 
constitution of the Port Trust. This amendment was supported by official 
members and carried inspite of opposition by the Swarajists and the Inde- 
pendents. There was a funny incident while the amendment was put to 
vote. The amendment urging an increase of total representation on the 
Board from 19 to 20 was declared carried by the President, when Mr. A. C. 
Banneijee, Nationalist, taking the declaration to be otherwise, demanded a 
poll which resulted in a loss of the amendment by 13 votes. The Bill was 
then passed. 

The Council also passed the Bengal Cruelty to Animals Bill without 
opposition. The Council then adjourned. 

The Grand Canal Scheme. 

On the 17TH AUGUST, sixteen supplementary demands for grants 
were discussed and all, except one in connection with the Grand Canal 
scheme, were carried. This was a demand for Rs. 25,000 in connection 
with the scheme, the cost of which was estimated at Rs. 2,79,23,122. Dr. 
Pramatha Nath Baneiji, Nationalist, in moving that this demand be re- 
fused, protested against the manner in which the Grand Canal scheme was 
sought to be rushed through & dying Council. It was a demand for a 
very large sum, by sanctioning which the Council would commit itself to an 
expenditure of about 3 crores. It would prejudicially affect the sanitation 
of Bengal. It was intended for the benefit of steamer companies and was 
opposed by the Calcutta Corporation and the Bengal National Chamber 
of Commerce. The same was opposed by all sections of non-official members. 
The amendment was carried and the original demand was refused. The 
remaining demands were granted without opposition, the most important of 
these being the Police demand. 

Police Expenditure. 

The Hon. Mr, Birley moved that a sum of Rs. 2,60,000 be granted for 
expenditure under the head Police. He said that the Bill was a large one 
but the expenditure was unavoidable and it was not unlikely that a further 
grant would be necessary before the close of the year, because full informa- 
tion was not yet available about the expenditure incurred, namely, in 
Pabna in connection with the hire of motor transport. As far as possible, 
much expenditure would be met by the reappropriation, but this sum, of 
course, represented a very small portion of the loss which had resulted 
from the succession of riots from which this city had suffered. Apart 
from the loss to the trade and the actual damage done during the rioti, 
tfcere bad been an enormous lots in wages to those who had been thrown 


out of employment for long periods, in very many cases through no fault 
of their own. 

The motion was carried and the Council was adjourned. 

Non-official Bills. 

On the 18TH AUGUST four non- official Bills were discussed, two of 
which were rejected, one recommitted to the Select Committee and the 
other passed. Dr. Moreno's Bengal Pasture Bill to improve the condition of 
cattle by providing sufficient pasture land was recommitted to the Select 
Committee as the Bill had not been adequately considered. The Bengal 
Cattle Bill, also moved by Dr. Moreno, intended to stop deterioration of cattle 
was thrown out. The Village Self-Government Amendment Bill which 
intended to give more powers to Union Boards was also thrown out. 

Calcutta Municipal Amendment Bill. 

Dr. A Suhrawardy, Deputy President, then introduced the Calcutta 
Municipal Amendment Bill. The object of the Bill was to separate Cossipore 
and Garden Beach Municipalities from Calcutta Corporation. In 1923, these 
two Municipalities were amalgamated with Calcutta and taxation there had 
been raised from Hi to 19i per cent. The people there were unable to pay 
so heavy a tax and wanted separation. The mover said that the people of 
Cossipore and Garden Reach were paying the taxes of Chowringhee, but 
enjoyed the advantages of Timbuctoo. Representatives of these areas, Hindus 
and Mahomendans, supported the Bill. 

Mr. A. C. Banerji, Nationalist, opposing the Bill said that the Calcutta 
Corporation was not in favour of the separation and they had already ex- 
pressed in favour of the extension of Calcutta. It could not be denied that 
Calcutta required expansion. There was more demand for houses than supply. 
The reason why the Bill was brought so hurriedly was that the general 
elections were coming and Cossipore and Garden Reach had votes. 

Mr. S. C. Mukheiji said that in this matter they must have a decided 
opinion of the Calcutta Corporation and the Mayor of Calcutta was not heard 
on it. 

The Hon'ble the Maharaja of Nadia opposing the Bill referred to Mr. 
Mukherji's remarks when Mr. J. M. Sen Gupta, as a personal explanation, 
said he was there not as the Mayor of Calcutta but to represent his electors 
and to look to the interest of the people of the whole of Bengal. 

Maharaja Nadia : " I am glad Mr. Sen Gupta has an astral existence 
somewhere else. We want to know what the Mayor of Calcutta has to say 1 

Mr. Sen Gupta : The Mayor of Calcutta cannot make any statement here. 
The Calcutta Corporation makes its own statement. 

After some discussion the Bill was passed. The House then adjourned. 

Non-Official Bills. 

On the 19TH AUGUST, there were three non-official bills, two of which 
the Village Self-government Bill and the Calcutta Rent Bill were thrown out. 
The Bengal Local Self-government Bill was introduced but the motion for ita 
consideration was negatived. The Council then discussed non-official resolu- 

Free and Compulsory Primary Education. 

Of the 43 resolutions on the agenda, two were carried, three withdrawn 
and one was being moved when the Council adjourned for want of a quorum* 


The first resolution urged for the inauguration of a system of free and com- 
pulsory primary education in Bengal. The Finance Member wanted to know 
the ways, and means to carry out the scheme which would cost about one 
orore of rupees at the start. The members agreed to the imposition of an 
education cess. The Finance Member, in accepting the motion in an 
amended form, said that the money to be raised by tax and provincial con- 
tribution would be placed under a special educational authority to be spent 
exclusively for this purpose. The Government also promised to publish its 
views and the scheme for public discussion. The resolution was carried. 

Another resolution that was carried urged that the mouths of certain 
dead rivers and canals in the Rajshahi District be opened and joined with 
the river Padma for the purpose of improving the health of the villagers. 

Enquiry into the Riots. 

The third resolution which stood in the name of Mr. H. 8. Suhrawardy 
urged for the appointment of a committee to make enquiry into the incidence 
and cause of riots in Calcutta and to suggest ways and means to prevent a 
recurrence of riots in future. Objection was taken to the moving of the 
resolution as Mr. Suhrawardy had not taken permission of 7 members form- 
ing the Committee. The objection was over-ruled as a majority of the 
members had agreed to serve on the Committee. Mr. Suhrawardy then 
formally moved the resolution and as he proceeded to read his speech, the 
House became thinner, AH Hindu and non-official European members left 
the hall and even officials followed suit. It was then found that there was 
no quorum and the President adjourned the meeting for ten minutes. When 
the Councial reassembled after ten minutes all benches were empty, only 
15 Mahomedan and official members being present. The President adjourned 
the Council which met again on the next day, .the 20 August, when it was 
prorogued by H. . the Governor. 

The Bombay Legislative Council 


The last Session of the Bombay Legislative Council opened at Poona on the 26TH 
JULY 1926 in the afternoon. The Swarajists were conspicuous by their absence. The 
President announced that the Governor had given his assent to the following Acts passed 
during the previous session : The Bombay Port Trust Act, the Act to give wider powers 
to certain Municipalities, the Indian Stamp (Amendment) Act in its application to 
certain cities, the Court Fees Act, the Cattle Trespass Act, the Act for the Prevention o f 
Gambling and the Civil Courts Act. 

Chief Court for Sind. 

Mr. J. E. B. Hotson, Home Member, moved the second reading of the Bill to 
establish a Chief Couit in Sind. The Bill laid down that the Chief Judge and Judges 
must each be either a barrister of not less than 5 years* standing, or a member of the 
Indian Civil service of not less than 10 years' standing and having for at least three 
years served as, or exercised powers of, a District Judge. 

Mr. H. B. hhivadanani moved an amendment that I.C.S. officers appointed to posts 
should have served as Dibtiict Judge in Sind for three years. 

The Home Member, opposing, pointed out the absurdity of such a proposition for a 
court in Karachi. Commercial experience was indispensable and that experience was 
better gained in Ahmed a bad than in any other part of the Presidency or Sind. The 
amendment was lost and as there were no more contentious clauses in the Bill, it 
was passed. 

Bombay City Police Act. 

The following other Bills were passed by the Council without much discussion : The 
Bill to amend the Bombay Prevention of Prostitution Act and the Bill to amend the 
Bombay Port Trust Act, but the Bill to amend the Bombay City Police Act raised a 
stormy debate. 

The Bill provided powers to police officers to destroy animals which are diseased or 
so severely injured that it would be ciuelty to let them linger on. It extends to cases 
of such animals as are injured in street accidents. Several non-official members opposed 
the Bill from a sentimental point of view. They said the Hindu and Mahomedan com- 
munities alike disapproved of taking life whether of animals or of men. Mr. Delhavi, 
Minister, expressed surprise at the inconsistent attitude of the opposition. The Govern- 
ment had often been blamed for not killing wild pigs and wild elephants in tne 
interests of agriculturists and in the same breath they objected to this Bill. 

The Home member assured the House that the Government had no desire to offend 
the susceptibilities of the members of any religion. If the Bill were referred to a select 
committee changes would be made in order to meet Hindu sentiments. The idea of the 
Bill was that if the Police took action immediately somebody would come forward and 
claim the animal, as in most cases the owners were not to be found. Moreover, if the 
extreme step provided by the Bill was not taken sevei al hours and sometimes even days 
might elapse during which the animal would be suffering pain. The motion for the 
first reading was put to the vote, carried to a division and lost by 39 votes to 6. The 
Bill was referred to a Select Committee consisting of most of the objectors to the Bill. 

The House was then adjourned. 

Next day, the 27TH JULY demands for supplementary grants were taken up and 
after a brief discussion were granted. 

Discussion on Major Pogson's Appointment. 

There was only one Government resolution which evoked an interesting debate 
and was regarding Major Pogson, water diviner. At the last session of the Council, his 
appointment was sanctioned in the teeth of non-official opposition. His appointment 
expires on the 28th September. So the Government brought forward a resolution that 
his appointment should be continued till the end of the present financial year. In 
support of the resolution, the Government circularised to the members a pamphlet; 


giving the reiulti of Mr. Pogson's operations and success in water divining daring the 
year. Several members opposed his reappointment and expressed surprise that in this 
20th century, the Government should put faith in superstitions. 

Two non-official members, one on the Government benches, the other on the opposi- 
tion side, supporting the original resolution gave personal testimony to Major Pogson's 
success in divining water on their estates under circumstances which went to show that 
this power was genuine. They also argued that the primary duty of any civilised 
Government was to relieve the Buffering of the subjects from scarcity of water. Here in 
the Bombay Presidency, there were vast tracks where the people suffered from lack of 
water supply and it was, therefore, incumbent on the Government to avail themselves of 
the opportunity of utilising the services of a man whose success in water divining had 
been proved to the hilt. 

The resolution was carried by a large majority. The house then adjourned. 

Discussion on Mr. Bole't Bill. 

Next day, the 28TH JULY, the Swarajist members mustered strong to oppose 
the bill moved by Mr. 8. K. Bolr to amend the law relating to the emoluments of the 
Hindu priests. The member in charge of the bill presented the report of the Select 
Committee on the bill. The principle underlying the bill was that there should be full 
liberty of conscience to every individual to perform his religions ceremonies in any way 
he liked. The bill naturally affected the priests who have been thriving on the unsophis- 
ticated masses and enriching themselves at their expense. The bill took away the 
monopoly of the priests who have been enjoying it from time immemorial. The Swarajist 
members held brief for the priests. At the outset, several members raised points o! order 
pointing out several alleged irregularities of the bill such as that the Select Committee's 
report must be discarded, because the Committee was not presided over by the member 
in charge of Revenue, but the objections were overruled by the provision in the Council 
Standing Orders, enabling such member to delegate his functions to his accredited 
representative. Other objections, pat forward by the Swarajists, were similarly overruled 
by the President as being of a technical character which hardly vitiated the principles 
of the policy of the bill. After the Select Committee report was admitted, several amend- 
ments were brought forward to adjourn the discussion to the next session of the Council 
and to recommit the Bill to the Select Committee for amendments. 

After hearing the representations of such classes as objected to the Bill, the first 
amendment was voted upon, carried to a division and lost by an overwhelming majority, 
the Government benches solidly voting for the Bill. When the discussion on the second 
amendment was proceeding, Dr. Paranjpye, in the course of his speech, sought a via media 
for effecting a compromise between the opposing forces'and suggested that some relief by 
way of compensation should be granted to the priests whom the bill was going to dis- 
possess of their hereditary rights, monopolies and vested interests. Appealing to the 
Government benches, he reminded them of the clamour made by the I. C. S members 
on proportionate pensions and compensatory emoluments for the loss of vested rights 
contingent on the introduction of the reform. The speaker asked them to put themselves 
in the position of the priests who were going to be deprived of their monopolies which 
they had been enjoying for several centuries and perhaps for several thousands of years. 
He wanted the bill to be referred to a Select Committee for compensation being provided 
for these Joshies. The Minister for Education, opposing the suggestion, said that he 
thought that the scheme of compensation was absurd, the object of the bill being to give 
complete freedom of conscience to villagers who have been ground down by age-long 
tyranny. To afford compensation to those who were responsible for perpetuating this 
vicious system, was prepostrous and unmoral. The debate was adjourned. 

Next day, the 29TH JULY, two principal clause of the bill, namely that no priest 
should be entitled to claim as a matter of right emoluments from those Hindus who do not 
call his service and that he should be relieved of his obligations to perform religious ser- 
vices when required by any villager came in for a good deal of opposition. It was argued 
by those against the bill who sought to deprive individuals of their properties and rights 
enjoyed from time immemorial accrued not by law, but by ancient custom and upheld by 
local High courts. In this respect, it was argued that the bill was Bolshevik in principle. 
The supporters of the bill pleaded for liberty of conscience and liberty of action. They 
were even prepared to support Dr. Paranjpye's proposal to give a reasonable measure of 
compensation to the priests affected. There should be no recognition of a legal claim since 
emoluments to priests have been always made as a voluntary contribution. 


The Hon'ble Sir Cimnilal Mehta, Finance Member, pat forward the Government 
point of view that the Government had no desire or object in confiscating the rights and 
properties of priests. The bill was as much protection to the priests for whom several 
members had expressed desire to compensate as it was protection to the Hindu public. 
There was a sort of property right vested in the priestly class bat the fundamental 
principle in compensation was that there should be loss. He challenged the members to 
prove that in this case there was any loss. Mr. Bhopatkar, leader of the Swaraj party, 
strongly opposed the bill. After a number of other speakers had spoken, the debate was 

On the 30TH JULY, Dr. Velker, in opposing the measure, appealed to the mover to 
withdraw the Bill, pointing out the danger of anti-Brahmin feeling engendered by the 
Bill, when the country was seething with communal hostilities. 

Mr. Surve (Non-Brahmin member) denied anti-Brahmin motive of the mover of the Bill 
and quoted instances to show that non-brahmin grievances were real. He added that if the 
enlightened classes had of their own accord alleviated the Non-Brahmin grievances, there 
would not be any necessity on the Government's part to interfere. The speaker warned the 
members that with the growing consciousness of the people regarding their civic rights, 
such disconcerting situations were bound to arise more frequently. The Bill was the out- 
come of the fact that Brahmin priests did not perform the ceremonies in the manner their 
clients wanted. Ke opposed the proposal of compensation made by the opposition! ts. 

After Mr. Bole had replied to the debate, the motion for second reading was put to 
vote and carried. The opposition did not ask for division. 

The House then proceeded to consider the Bill regarding the emoluments to priests, 
clause by cluse. A number of amendments were moved. One moved by Dr. Velkar to the 
effect that one rupee should be paid to the Watandar priest by such Maharattas, who 
wished to get rid of the liability of calling his service instead of Ks. 25 as suggested by 
another amendment, was rejected by the House. Other amendments also met the same 
fate. The House then adjourned. 

On the 2ND AUGUST the House discussed clause four of the Bill which provided 
that no person should be entitled to claim ceremonial emoluments fiom a Hindu who did 
not call in the services of persons claiming those emoluments. Mr. B. G. Pradhan moved 
an amendment that the clause should not affect the rights of priests as regards Inam lands 
and cash allowances attached to such office as regards the performance of the service 
pertaining to it. Discussion on this clause was adjourned. 

Bill to Amend Mamlatdars 1 Courts Act. 

Mr. D. R. Patil next moved the Bill to amend the Bombay Mamlatdar's Courts 
Act. The present Act provided no right of appeal over a mamlatdar's decision in land 
disputes. The Bill bought to confer the power of appeal to the Collector against a 
mamlatdar's decision. On the Home Member's assurance that sufficient check would be 
maintained over a mamlatdar's decision and officers should be communicated with imme- 
diately, the mover withdrew the Bill. 

Bill to Amend. City Police Act. 

It was a Bill to amend the City Police Act. Under the existing law the amount of 
compensation awarded by the Chief Presidency Magistrate to sufferers or survivors of 
sufferers in a riot or disturbance was recovered through the agency of the Municipal 
Commissioner. The Bill seeks to transfer the above duties on the shoulders of the Col- 
lector of Bombay who, as the term signified, was the collector of revenue. The mover 
and his supporter argued that the Corporation was in no way concerned in the matter 
which primarily rested with the Government who stood for law and order. The speaker 
argued that the police were responsible for riots because their strength was so diminished 
by reduction of the staff that they were unable to cope effectively with riots and dis- 
turbances at their initial stage. Why, the speaker argued, should the Municipal 
Corporation staff make themselves odious with the public ? 

The government, opposing the measure, pointed out the administrative difficulties of 
accepting it. For one thing, the Government did not get a single penny ont of tnis 
punitive tax. For another thing, the burden of the expenditure incurred in employing 
collecting staff would naturally fall on the general taxpayer and why should the tax- 
payi r of Ahmedabad pay towards the collection of a tax imposed on the erring people of 
Bombay. Thirdly, the employment of temporary staff would result in extreme inefficiency 
and probably in extreme corruption on the part of the collecting staff. Lastly why 
should the servants of Government incur the odium of the public ? 

The Bill was thrown out and the Council then rose, 



On the 8RD AUGUST the discussion on Mr. Joshi's bill was continued. Mr. G. 
B. Pradhan moved an amendment to substitute the word 'hereditary' for * watandar.' The 
amendment was put to vote and adopted. Mr. Bole moved the third reading of the Bill, 
which was put to vote and passed by the House, no member opposing. 

Bombay Local Boards Act Amendment Bill. 

Bardar Bhasaheb Baisinghji Thakor Kerwada moved the first reading of the Bill 
No. 10 of 1926 to amend the Bombay Local Boards Act 1923. The Bill aimed at securing 
to Inamdars the right of returning one representative of the local Boards to represent the 
interests of the class which is in a minority. The principle of the Bill, he said, was accepted 
in regard to the Council of State, the Legislative Assembly and provincial Councils and 
the Bill was based on the approved principle that those who contributed towards general 
taxation must have their voice in the management of affairs, both of the country and 
the district. 

Messrs. Swami Narayan and Kambli opposed, while Mr. Sardesai supported the first 
reading of the Bill. The Council then adjourned to meet on the next day, 

The 4TH AUGUST when discussion on the Bill continued, and the motion for its 
first reading was voted upon and lost. Leave was not given to Mr. Pahaljani to introduce 
his Bill to amend the Bombay Civil Courts Act 1869. 

Prevention of Gambling Act. 

Mr. J. Addyman's motion for leave to introduce his bill to amend the Bombay 
Prevention of Gambling Act met with a similar fate. It was disallowed by the 
Honourable President on constitutional grounds. He paid that in the case of bills 
dealing with central subjects, notice of one month was provided and it was further 
provided that the Governor had the power of extending it to two months. There 
was no power of curtailing the period either to 15 days or 30 days. There was 
considerable difference of opinion as to whether the notice provided should be counted 
from the first day of the session or up to the day that the Bill could come up for the con- 
sideration of the House. The President said his personal view was that in the interest of a 
definite and clear procedure, notice should be from the first day of the session. It would 
be wholly indefinite to know when the Bill would come up for discussion in the House 
and therefore, if that interpretation was to be upon the rules and standing orders, one 
would never know whether the Bill of which notice has been given short of 15 days 
would or would not come in for discussion in view of the fact that the matter was referred 
to the Government of India and they had decided that notice should take effect from the 
day tl ey received notice, up to the day the Bill came for the consideration of the Council 
and that was the procedure that had been adopted in regard to all non-official bills. In 
this case notice was received on July 6th and one month would expire on the 6th August 
and to-day was August 4th. The Bill was, therefore, not due for discussion during this 
session. There was unfortunately no power veRted in the President for curtailing the 
period of notice. In accprdance, therefore, with the ru^es and standing orders, the Presi- 
dent announced that Mr. Addyman's Bill lapsed and could not be considered. 

Mr. Snrvc's motion for leave to introduce the Bill to amend the Bombay District 
Municipalities Act 1901 was also disallowed for want of sufficient notice as per standing 
orders. The House then adjourned. 

Salaries of Primary Teachers. 

Mr. Deo then moved his resolution recommending to the Government to give effect to 
the Sathe-Paranjpye scheme as regards salaries of primary teachers in view of their 
pecuniary hardships. He (the speaker) told the house the woeful tale of primary teachers 
who have to resort to extra occupations as they cannot make both ends meet. 

Messrs. Advani and Sbamdasini, in suppoi ting the resolution proved the necessity of 
inclement to salaries of teachers. 

Dr. Paranjpye, after tracing the genesis of Mr. Sathe-Paranjpye scheme, informed the 
house that the scheme was not accepted then by primary teachers as the standard of living 
was costly due to the after effects of the Great War. He (the speaker) appealed to the 
Minister for Education to meet the reasonable demands of primary teachers and assured 
him (the Minister) the support of the House in raising fresh taxation for the scheme. 

After Khan Bahadur Bhotto supported the resolution, Mr. Turner, Secretary to the 
Education department, quoted figures and said that the adoption of the resolution would 
have an unwholesome effect on the financial position and there is nothing to prevent local 
bodies from paying whatever scale of pay to teachers, 


After Messrs. Pradhan and Moulvi Eafiuddin supported the resolution, Mr. Shlnde, 
opposing the resolution, defended the policy of the Minister and opined that the 
adoption of the Sathe-Paranjpye scheme would retard the progress of primary education. 
Messrs. Jog, Noor Mahomed and Sardcsai supported the resolution and the House ad- 
journed till next day, 

The 6TH AUGUST, when the Minister of Education, in opposing the resolution 
defended his educational policy and remarked that the resolution was merely an election 
stunt and Dr. Paranjpye was responsible for not giving effect to the scheme during his 

The resolution was carried, the Government not opposing it. 
Bombay City Police Amendment Bill. 

The Home Member then moved the second reading of the Bill No. 6 ro amend the City 
of Bombay Police Act 1902. The Select Committee amended clause 2 by restricting the 
powers of the police officers to kill animals found in the street of public places only and 
bulls and cows were excluded and a provision was made for the removal of the wounded 
animals to veterinary hospital or pinjrapolcs. 

Mr. Swaminarayan moved an amendment to refer the Bill to a Select Committee to 
enlist opinions of the Jains and the Hindue. The Home Member, in opposing, referred to 
the representation signed by Sir Jamnetji Jnejeebhoy, President of the Bombny Pinjrapole 
and remarked that no constructive suggestions have boon made to the Government. After 
this amendment was lost, similar amendments to postpone the Bill till the next session 
of the budget were thrown out by the House. The second reading of the Bill was passed 
after the Home Member's assurance that all precautions to screen animals would be taken. 
The Bill was next considered clause by clause and the third reading of the Bill was passed 
after some discussion. 

Admission of Depressed Classes. 

Then Mr. Bole's resolution asking the Government to refuse grants to the municipal- 
ities and local boards which do not allow the depressed classes the use of public schools, 
tanks and Dharmasalas. The Minister for Local Self-Government pointed out that the 
Government was bound to give grants to municipal and local bodies by statute. The 
debate continued, when the House adjourned till, 

The next day, the 6TH AUGUST, when after a short discussion the House accepted 
the Bill with an amendment that no discretionary grants be given to such local bodies. 

Removal of Sex-Disqualification. 

Dr. Paranjpye' s resolution for the removal of sex disqualification for women voters to 
stand as candidates to the Legislative Council came up for discussion. He (the speaker) 
referred to a similar resolution passed by the Madras Legislative Council and the opinion of 
the Government of India to alter the rules if provincial legislatures pass such a resolution. 
Proceeding, the speaker said that women would be of more help to the deliberations of the 
House in subjects like Chidren's Act, temperance and law of property. Dr. Paranjpye con- 
cluded his speech with an appeal to the House to pass the resolution by way of justice and 
fairness to women. After Messrs Marisuri and B. G. Pradhan supported, Hon. Mr. Dehlvi 
opposed the resolution on national grounds and remarked that the sphere of activities for 
woman is her home and not the arena of practical politics. He warned the House not to 
imitate western nations by introducing this kind of reform as the nations which adopted it 
are now deploring the evil effects of the reform, 

Mr. Gnnjal moved an amendment that women of 45 years of age only are eligible for 
election. After some lively speeches from members on the su jject, Mr. Gunjal's amend- 
ment was thrown out and the House accepted Dr. Paracjpyc's 'esolution as amended by 
Mr. Shivdasani that women voters be nominated to the Legislative Council amidst great 

A resolution to express the sense of gratitude and appreciation of the services of the 
Hon. President for conducting *the deliberations of the Council on democratic lines 
was carried after being supported by all parties in the House. 

Then His Excellency the Governor drove in state to the Council hall and, after 
addressing the House on economical, social and political conditions of the presidency, 
formally prorogued the Council. 

The Madras Legislative Council 


With a heavy agenda before it and with fairly good attendance the 
Madras Legislative Council met on the 10TH JULY for the last time before 
its dissolution. The Swarajists and the Nationalists, who had " Walked out" 
last March, "Walked in" on this day to take part in the Malabar Tenancy 
Bill and the Irrigation Bill. 

The Malabar Tenancy Bill. 

After interpellations the House took into consideration the Malabar 
Tenancy Bill. An initial division occurred over the Government to begin the 
discussion from clause 3, as that involved important questions of policy. 
The non-officials lost the division. 

The Government's amendment to omit Kanomshar variety of tenure 
from the operation of the Act occasioned heated debate. The Swarajists spoke 
on the motion and condemned Government's attitude. Mr. Narasimharazu, 
leader of the Nationalists, pointed out that the Government's amendment 
was reactionary. 

Mr. Satyamurthy accused Government of going behind the principle 
of the bill when once the bill had been referred to a select committee. He 
said, they knew Government was opposed to the bill and even if the House 
passed it, it would be vetoed. The Government's objection that failure to 
pass the amendment would induce tenants in other parts to a similar agitation 
waa puerile. This Government, he concluded, must soon give place to a 
Swarajist government and finding the Government members laughing, he 
retorted "he laughed best who laughed last." Continuing he said, the 
Swarajist Government will put through a more liberal measure of reform. 
Meanwhile he exhorted the tenants to carry on the fight bravely as their 
case was just. 

Fay of Unpassed Clerks. 

The House then adjourned for lunch. After lunch the House took up 
for discussion the adjournment motion regarding the suspension in pay 
granted to unpassed clerks. In moving the adjournment Mr. Kanganadha 
Mudaliar dwelt at length on the hardships caused to poor clerks by this 
surprise order. Mr. Thanikachellam Chettiar supporting him traced the 
history of the question in detail and asked if Government were right in 
penalising clerks for what should have been mistakes of the heads of 
departments. When the new scales of pay were sanctioned after the 
armistice no distinstion was made between the passed and UD passed clerks. 
The heads of departments were empowered to exempt the unpassed clerks 
to allow them to draw annual increments. If it was now discovered that 
heads of departments had abused their discretion, clerks should not be 
made to suffer for it. Coming to the figures there were about 4,000 
unpassed clerks. They all have been drawing increments of rupee one 
and annas eight a year since the new scale came into operation. The present 


order has suspended the increment and premises to go into the question of 
exemption again. Was it worth while to add to the existing discontent by 
witholding this pittance ? He condemned the proposal to recover emoluments 
in certain cases as unduly harsh and trusted that the Government would 
now at least realise the situation and do the clerks some justice. 

The Government member opposed the motion saying that exemptions 
had to be reviewed and that Government had waived the recovery rights 
up to March 1925. Ultimately the motion was carried by 43 votes to 30. 
Ministerialists voted for the motion. The House then adjourned. 

The Malabar Tenancy Bill. 

On the 13TH JULY the discussion on the Malabar Tenancy Bill was 
resumed in the Council. An amendment to give occupancy rights to a 
tenant who had been in continued possession for 12 years was discussed. 
The Law Member said that as they were definitely against the proposal to 
give occupancy rights to any tenant under this clause, they did not propose 
to intervene any further in the discussion of this clause. The amendment 
was defeated by 22 against 23 votes, A member from Coimbatore proposed 
an amendment, the object of which was to give no occupancy rights to any 
tenant coming in possession of land after the passing of this act. He said if 
the clause as framed by the select committee was passed, no "Jeiimi" would 
give his land to any tenant knowing that tenant would get permanent 
occupancy rights, The amendment was put to the vote and lost. After 
further discussion of the bill the house adjourned. 

On the 14TH JULY the discussion commenced on the Government 
motion to omit the clause seven of the Malabar Tenancy Bill which gave 
non-cultivating tenant permanent occupancy right. The motion was put to 
the vote and lost. 

After the voting on clause seven was over, a surprise was sprung on 
the House by Sir Alexander Macriouggal suggesting the dropping of the 
Malabar Tenancy Bill. An animated discussion centred round this motion. 
Sir Alexander appealed to the mover of the Bill to drop the Bill and also 
appealed to the Government to promise to make an enquiry into the whole 
of tho conditions of Malabar Tenancy either by a committee or any other 
way and bring forward Government measure which might meet with a 
great deal more unanimity than the present measure seemed to have got. 

A point of order being raised by Mr. Satyamurthi to the wording of 
the motion, Sir Alexander on the suggestion of the Advocate-General who 
intervened moved that the discussion on the Malabar Tenancy Bill he 
adjourned sine die. 

Mr. Narasimha Raju, leader of the oposition, remarked that it had been 
moved perhaps under official inspiration. Sir Alexander denied any official 

Continuing, the leader of the opposition said, with reference to the 
Government it was evident they had made up their mind long ago. The 
elected members had a tangible responsibility to discharge to the electorate, 
while the Government had only imaginary responsibility to certain people 
who were not in India. The elected members were resolved to get this 
Bill through whatever its fate be later on. 

The Law Member said he had not given any stimulus or inspiration 
to Sir Alexander Macdouggal as regards the statement of irresponsibility 


oi the Reserved half. He agreed they could not be turned out as Ministers 
could be> but he denied any spirit of irresponsibility on the part of the 
Reserved half if, by that was meant lack of care, circumspection! anxious 
scrutiny and investigation into the materials on which alone they might 
come to decision. It was only after deliberate consideration they came 
to the conclusion that clauses six and seven as they stood could not and 
ought not to become law. If the parties affected by the measure could 
come together even approximately, the Government would only be too glad 
at it. Concluding, he said Sir Alexander's motion had great deal to 
commend it. 

Dewan Bahadur Krishnan Nair in a vigorous speech opposed the 
motion. He said that it was with great pain he heard the speech of the 
Hon. Law Member. The people were not judged by their words but 
by their conduct. He regarded Reserved half of the Government as most 
irresponsible Government that ever existed in any country. Before the house 
had gone through half the length of the Bill, <he Law member had the 
audacity to say that even if this Council passed this Bill, if it contained 
sections six and seven, ho would certainly advise and do every thing in his 
power to have the Bill vetoed by the Government. 

Continuing, Mr. Krishnan Nair said Sir Alexander had beon a member 
of the House for a long time though not taking active part bub listening to 
the debate on the Bill. Was is not Sir Alexander's duty to give this advice 
at an earlier stage ? He strongly opposed the motion and declined the advice 
of Sir Alexander with many thanks. 

Sir Alexander's motion was put to the vote and lost, 20 voting for and 
49 against it, 18 remaining neutral including three Ministers and their 

The Council then resumed the discussion on the Bill and had not 
concluded when the House adjourned. 

Next day, the 1BTH JULY the discussion on the Malabar Tenancy Bill 
was resumed and the clause 7 providing permanent occupancy right to non- 
cultivating Kanomdar or Kuzhikanom tenant was debated upon at considera- 
ble length and carried by 37 votes against three. 

The deletion of certain clause was made by the mover of the bill and 
was accepted. The clause nine, object of which was to confer right on 
Kanomdars evicted after first January 1923 to recover their holdings was 
also deleted- The clause eleven which sougth that occupancy ri{*ht shall not 
extend to buildings constructed by landlord was also passed. A new clause 
stipulating a tenant entitled to occupancy right shall on termination of 
known demise and thenceforward at the end of every successive t:rm get 
a renewal on payment at the rate of one year's net produce of land was 

The debate had not concluded when the Council adjourned till next 
day, the 16TH JULY, when the discussion on the Bill was continued, the 
provisions discussed being mostly of a technical kind. 

Removal of Sex Disqualification. 

On the 17TH JULY the Council passed with but two dissentients a reso- 
lution recommending the removal of the restriction placed on women from 
standing as candidates to the legislatures. Over fifteen members had given 


notice of the resolution but the Malabar Tenancy Bill left no time for discus- 
sion o! the resolution on this day. Special permission was obtained to move 
the resolution even when the Tenancy Bill was under discussion, as the post- 
ponement of the resolution would prevent women from contesting the coming 
elections. The resolution was moved by Mr. Krishna Nair. 

Mr. J. A. Saldanha who had given notice of the resolution rose to 
oppose it when the President pointed out that the opposer himself had 
proposed to move the resolution. Mr. Saldanha replied that he had chang- 
ed his mind. He described the Council as a glorified debating society and 
said even when the male members of the House were not able to achieve 
anything against the Government what could women do in such a Council 1 
" Our duty," he said, " should be to acquire more power for the Councils 
before we thought of admitting women into them." 

The House then proceeded with the discussion of the Tenancy Bill and 
adjourned to meet again on the 25th August. 


After a recess of nearly a month the House met again on the 25th 
August. The Swarajist members were present to take part in the discussion 
of the Bill to re-enact the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act of 1923 
and the Malabar Tenancy Bill. 

After interpellations, the House granted three supplementary demands 
of which one for meeting the expenses of elections to the Indian and Pro* 
vinoial legislatures elicited a good deal of discussion, one member moving 
that the provision of Rs. 153,400 be reduced by ten rupees in order to 
point out certain defects in the method of general elections such as insuffi- 
cient number of polling offices which put the voters to a good deal of hard- 
ships and open voting by illiterate persons which affected free exercise of 
voters' franchise and gave scope for play of undue influence. 

Mr. A. Y. G. Campbell, Law Member, speaking on behalf of the Gov- 
eremerit said that the Government was very anxions to give full freedom 
of voting to voters, but that he could not make aoy new arrangement for 
the forthcoming elections as they were so near. 

The Hindu Religious Endowments Bill. 

The House then took up for consideration the bill to rd-enaot the Madras 
Hindu Religious Endowments Act of 1923. In moving that the bill be 
read in Council* the Hon. Raja of Panagal said that the measure was ne- 
cessitated by the waste of the Trust funds by the Trustees of Temples and 
Mutts who have now launched on a course of litigation in the Madras High 
Court to prove that the Religious Endowments Act of 1923 is invalid. It 
is even said that some trustees intend sending out a commission to Canada 
and England to examine Lord Willingdon and Lord Reading. The measure 
is also necessitated by the fact that the Board constituted under the Act of 
1923 is handicapped in its working since the contributions to it are with- 
hold. After a motion to adjourn discussion to the next Council after elec- 
tions was lost, the House proceeded with the consideration of the bill, 
Swaraiists opposing it as a measure of religious interference, as a party 
move for elections and on the ground of want of sufficient time. Discussion 
was not over when the House rose for the day. 


On the 26TH AUGUST further discussion on the motion of the 

Minister that the Bill be read in the Council was proceeded with. 

Member after member from the Opposition Benches raised their voice of 

protest against the break-neck speed with which the Ministry proposed to 

rash through tbe Bill with the help of tbe nominated and the official votes. 

The original motion for the first reading having been passed by 52 
against 27 votes the Minister immediately appealed to the President to 
suspend the Standing Orders and allow the consideration of the Bill in 
spite of the majority of the Hindu elected members having voted against 
on two previous motions and in spite of the Bill being quite a new one so 
far as this Council was concerned. The President readily acceded to the 
Ministers' request and suspended the operation of the Standing Orders. 

The Leader of the Opposition than moved that the Bill be referred to 
a Select Committee and gave sufficient reasons for doing so. It was ably 
supported by a number of members but was lost by 33 against 51 votes. 

Mr. Venkatachalam Chettyar then moved that the further consideration 
of the Bill be adjourned at least for a fortnight to enable the new members 
to digest the contents of this important measure. It was put to vote and 
carried. The House then adjourned. 

The Irrigation Bill. 

On the 27TH AUGUST as soon as the Council met, the President read 
the message received from the Governor dating as far back as January last 
recommending adoption of some amendments to the Bill already passed by the 
House. The Leader of the Opposition raised the question as to why these 
messages were not communicated to the House all these months. The President 
answered that the rules were not clear as to the time when message received 
form the Governor should be communicated to the House. Another mem- 
ber raised another moot point that recommendations made by the Governor 
six months subsequently to the reservation of the Bill were out of date and 
could not, therefore, be considered by the House. But he was as